(CoinDesk Analysis Team)
Ethereum’s mainnet Merge with the proof-of-stake Beacon Chain should happen sometime next month.
The third and final test environment network (testnet) merge before the Ethereum blockchain makes its long-awaited move to proof-of-stake from proof-of-work has successfully been completed.
- Goerli was the last of three public testnets to run through a “dress rehearsal” of the Merge. After this, the mainnet Merge is expected to occur sometime at the end of September.
- The network transitioned to proof-of-stake (PoS) when the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) exceeded 10,790,000. That occurred around 1:45 UTC.
- On July 27, Ethereum announced the Bellatrix upgrade to Goerli’s beacon chain, Prater, in preparation for the testnet merge. After the Bellatrix beacon chain was activated on August 4, all that was left was for it to merge with Goerli, so it the testnet could continue to run on the PoS chain.
- The testnet merge takes the project one step closer to Ethereum’s mainnet upgrade later this year. The two previous testnet merges, Ropsten and Sepolia, were largely successful as well, heightening Ethereum community confidence that the actual Merge should be able to happen this year.
Ethereum merge on track as Goerli test merge successfully finalized
After Ropsten and Sepolia, Goerli was the last remaining testnet scheduled to undergo the merge, officially becoming a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain as of 1:45 am UTC, Aug. 11.
The Goerli testnet merge has been finalized without any major issues today, suggesting that there will be no delays to the tentative Ethereum Merge date set for Sept. 19.
Numerous key devs and figures in the Ethereum ecosystem have taken to Twitter to share their enthusiasm over the successful merge, such as core dev Preston Van Loon and podcaster/ETH proponent Anthony Sassano (@sassal0x) who bullishly noted to his 216,400 followers that “next up is (finally) the Ethereum mainnet!! The Merge is coming.”
However some noted there were minor issues that were also present in the previous two testnet merges.
Ethereum developer Marius van der Wijden noted that there was some “confusion on the network because two different terminal blocks and lots of non-updated nodes” that slowed the process down slightly, but stated that things were looking “quite good” anyway.
While lead Ethereum dev Tim Beiko also shared a screenshot as soon as Goerli’s switch to PoS went through.
There is growing confidence now that the highly anticipated Ethereum mainnet merge with the PoS-based Beacon Chain will go through without a hitch, given that Beiko previously stated that the major upgrade will go through on (or close to) his proposed date of Sept. 19 if the final merge trail runs went through successfully.
In what is being seen as one of the most significant upgrades in blockchain history, the Merge will significantly reduce Ethereum’s energy consumption while bringing the network one step closer to its long term scalability, security and sustainability goals.
Once the Merge is complete, the next major landmark will be the multi-phased sharding upgrade that will significantly enhance the “distribution of data storage requirements, enabling rollups to be even cheaper, and making nodes easier to operate,” according to Ethereum’s website.
Sharding essentially involves spreading the Ethereum database horizontally across shard chains, giving the network greater capacity while also taking the strain off the core network.
The price of Ether (ETH) has been on a meteoric pump in the lead up to the Merge, with the price gaining 72.2% over the past 30 days to sit at $1,890 at the time of writing.