Ethereum has released the ninth and final phase in the Ethereum Proof-of-Concept series, and the project has asked the Bitcoin community to take part in the “ongoing” Proof-of-Concept IX testnet in their most recent release, Olympic, which is now available here.
The purpose of Olympic is to reward people who try to test the limits of the Ethereum blockchain during the pre-release period, spamming the network with transactions and doing crazy things with the state, so that we can see how the network holds up under high levels of load. At the same time, application developers, data providers, exchanges, and users are encouraged to develop and deploy on the testnet and run nodes – and if you have multiple virtual private servers, spin up as many nodes as you can.
Olympic offers a total prize fund of up to 25,000 ether (the “currency” of Ethereum). With four categories of prizes, including a grand prize for the first individual to create a “substantial” fork on the testnet, programmers have an incentive to take part in Ethereum’s testnet.
Participants can take part in four categories of prizes, including Transaction Activity, Virtual Machine Usage, Mining Prowess, and General Punishment, with each category featuring the main prize of 2,500 ether, and one or smaller prizes of 100-1,000 ether and potentially tiny rewards of 0.1-5 ether for participation.
The categories will be judged by Vitalik, Gavin Wood, and Jeff Wilcke with the help of “automated blockchain analysis tools.”
As Vitalik writes, “all prize-winners will be entitled to have their name immortalized in the Ethereum Genesis block.”
In order to be considered for a prize, be sure to send an e-mail describing your claim to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the final phase of the Ethereum development process before the release of Frontier begins, Vitalk notes that the network is “proving to be highly stable at its current size of 20-100 nodes, all major clients have been staying in consensus and we are approaching code freeze pending testing and auditing inputs.”
The team anticipates this phase to last two weeks, and then, “when we deem that we are ready, we will provide a 48-hour countdown for the Frontier 1.0 launch.”
Binaries and source are available here.
A work-in-progress guide to Frontier is available here.
The blog post is signed “the ethereum core dev team.”