Ethereum’s proof-of-stake Merge has been completed on Ropsten testnet
The Ropsten test network (testnet), Ethereum’s longest-running testnet, successfully integrated the long-awaited ‘Merge’ with the Beacon chain on Wednesday.
The first testnet dress rehearsal, which successfully merged the proof-of-work execution layer with the Beacon proof-of-stake consensus chain by combining their codes into one. The process is identical to the one the Ethereum mainnet is expected to undergo in a few months, bringing Ethereum one step closer to its pending transition to a proof of stake consensus mechanism.
Ropsten allowed developers to test the changes before it is implemented on the Ethereum manninet. It is viewed as the most significant upgrade and long-awaited milestone in Ethereum’s transition towards a PoS consensus mechanism.
Ropsten also presents a critical opportunity for developers to check whether client software using Ethereum nodes can run smoothly without glitches. Client software teams involved in participating in the Merge include Lighthouse, Lodestar, Prysm, Teku, Besu, Erigon, go-ethereum (geth) and Nethermind.
‘I mean of course, the merge working well for 6 hours isn’t evidence of complete success,’ said co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, in the livestream earlier today. ‘There are all of these kinds of longer term issues around MEV and staking centralization and protection against DOS attacks and things that could potentially bite us 3 weeks after the merge instead of 2 minutes during the process.’
As of Wednesday, Ropsten’s PoW version of the Ethereum chain reached a terminal total difficulty (TTD) above 50 quadrillion, and stopped importing blocks on that chain segment. The Merge is activated once the specified TTD of 50 quadrillion is reached, to deter malicious activity from happening on the Merge.
Until now, Ethereum continues to operate on a proof-of-work consensus mechanism, whereby miners exhaust energy to discover new Blocks to validate and add them to the Blockchain in exchange for Ether (ETH) rewards. When Ethereum successfully transitions to poS, users who have staked 32 ETH will assume the role of validators, eliminating the energy-intensive process of mining blocks. PoS will make Ethereum a more energy-efficient Blockchain and lower gas fees. Currently, high gas fees have caused more than 1 million failed Ethereum transactions every month.