[Ethereum] Olympic, Frontier, Morden, Homestead and Ropsten Ethereum blockchain


I am studying Ethereum and have not been able to figure out the difference between Homestead and Morden. In some docs, it is written that Homestead uses a new algorithm which takes less time. I don't understand this. Is Morden for testing and Homestead for production?

Best Answer

Each network version gets a name (id). Here is an overview.

  • Olympic (0) is also regularly referred to as Ethereum 0.9; it launched early 2015 and was the first public Testnet. Deprecated in mid 2015 and replaced by Morden.
  • Frontier (1) the official 1.0 release was launched as public main network in the summer of 2015. Forked to Homestead in early 2016.
  • Morden (2) was the Frontier-equivalent testnet; it launched with Frontier and basically replaced Olympic. Deprecated in late 2016 and replaced by Ropsten.
  • Homestead (1) was the first major upgrade (1.1) of the Frontier network in March 2016. It did not replace Frontier but upgraded it.
  • Ropsten (3) is a new Homestead-equivalent testnet launched in late 2016 due to multiple issues in the old testnet; it finally replaced Morden. Ropsten was attacked in February 2016 and declared dead. But with great effort it has been revived on March 2017.
  • Kovan (42) is the first proof-of-authority (PoA) testnet issued by Ethcore, Melonport, and Digix after the Ropsten attacks.
  • Rinkeby, another PoA testnet is currently being drafted.

The current protocol version is Homestead. The Ropsten testnet is broken and there is no public Homestead equivalent testnet available.

Despite the differences in name, Olympic, Morden and Ropsten have the network ids 0, 2 and 3. Frontier, Homestead are the main network with id 1. You can run your own chain by specifying a network id other than 0, 1, 2, or 3.

Upcoming releases:

  • Metropolis will be the 1.2 release and come probably in the fall of 2017 and be rolled out using in two halves. It includes the opening of the decentralized application browsers and so called DApp stores, and will upgrade the Homestead network (1).
  • Serenity is among the most distant milestones and marks the move to Proof of Stake (PoS). This is often referred to as Ethereum 1.5 and I do not expect this to happen before 2018.

There are also blog posts by Vitalik Buterin talking about scalability and Ethereum 2.0 but these releases are way too far in the future, so let's wait for Metropolis for now.

See also: What is Olympic, Frontier and Morden? (merged)

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