Earlier this week, Tim Beiko, the Community Manager at Ethereum Foundation took to Twitter to share news of a Merge ‘Dress Rehearsal’ slated to happen on Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet network.
Ropsten, which is Ethereum’s oldest proof-of-work testnet, will be the first testnet to run through the Merge as the blockchain makes the shift from proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus.
Work has been ongoing for several years to migrate the Ethereum blockchain to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, and now the team is at the final stages of testing.
According to Beiko, a new beacon chain has been launched, and the Merge is expected to happen around June 8th. He referred to the news as a “first dress rehearsal” for miners.
The Ethereum core developer went on to post a nine-tweet thread detailing all the technicalities miners need to be aware of concerning the Merge. He told developers that no real change should be expected post-Merge.
However, Ropsten’s newly-launched beacon chain will have to go through a “Bellatrix” upgrade before it can be compatible with Merge. Thereafter, a Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) value, used for node configuration, will be chosen by miners to set the transition in motion.
An Ethereum blog postfurther revealed that two more testnets (Goerli and Sepolia) are set to follow immediately after the Ropsten transition before the network shifts its focus to the mainnet.
Other testnets like Rinkeby and Kovan may be maintained and upgraded separately by the community but will no longer be monitored by client developers.
In a bid to help facilitate a hitch-free transition, the Ethereum Foundation has gone on to increase its bug bounty payouts.
The Merge is arguably the most highly anticipated milestone in Ethereum’s network history. It will make the network far more energy-efficient and also rename the Consensus Layer previously referred to as Eth2. Unfortunately, Merge will not reduce gas fees on the network, to the dismay of thousands of Ethereum users.
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