Ethereum’s Ropsten Testnet Merge Sees Success

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Ethereum
Ethereum’s Ropsten Testnet Merge Sees Success

The Ropsten Testnet of Ethereum has successfully merged with its beacon chain. It is the first testnet dress rehearsal to prepare Ethereum for the upcoming proof-of-stake shift.

Ropsten Testnet Completes Merge

The first dress rehearsal for the Ethereum blockchain’s forthcoming Merge was conducted successfully on Wednesday.

The Ropsten test network (testnet) successfully merged its proof-of-work execution layer with the Beacon Chain proof-of-stake consensus chain – a procedure identical to what the main Ethereum network will undergo within the next few months (if all goes well).

The Merge is a long-awaited landmark in Ethereum’s journey to a new proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model. Currently, Ethereum relies on proof-of-work (PoW), in which miners devote energy to seek new blocks and add them to the blockchain in exchange for newly issued ether (ETH) and a portion of transaction fees and tips. Once Ethereum transitions from PoW to PoS, validators who have staked the necessary 32 ETH will assume responsibility for adding new blocks to the blockchain.

The Beacon Chain currently operates in parallel with the present PoW chain. The Beacon Chain is the PoS coordination chain in which validators already create and validate new blocks concurrently with the PoW execution chain. As soon as the PoS chain has been sufficiently tested and secured, the two chains will merge, and Ethereum will continue as a PoS blockchain.

The Ropsten Testnet, launched in 2016 and named after a Stockholm metro station, was renowned for being Ethereum’s only Proof-of-Work testnet and was regarded as one of the closest replications of the Ethereum Mainnet. It had already launched its own beacon chain on May 30 in anticipation of Wednesday’s Merge trial run.

Because Ropsten is so similar to Mainnet, developers may run realistic testing on it before implementing it on Mainnet. The successful transition of the Ropsten Testnet to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism bodes well for the upcoming transition of the Ethereum Mainnet.

Next Steps Before the Mainet Merge

Ethereum’s core developers will next execute the chain-merge on two more public testnets, Sepolia and Goerli, as well as complete numerous more shadow forks on dedicated closed testnets, perhaps delaying the current difficulty bomb.

The difficulty bomb increases the mining difficulty of the Ethereum Proof-of-Work chain exponentially in order to encourage nodes to move to the post-merge Proof-of-Stake chain. If Ethereum’s developers take too long to prepare for the Merge, they will have to delay the difficulty bomb in order to keep the network running until the Merge can take place. 

Developers have previously suggested delaying the difficulty bomb to mid-August on the Ethereum Improvements Proposals (EIP) forum.

Preston Van Loon, an Ethereum developer, originally stated that the Merge might occur as soon as August; however, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has provided a more conservative estimate of September or October.

Following today’s successful Ropsten Testnet merge, an August mainnet merge appears more likely. Nevertheless, it is important to note that previous network upgrades have experienced multiple delays. With the strain rising, Ethereum’s engineers will be keen to ensure that the network’s largest update to date is executed flawlessly.

Rony Roy

Rony Roy is an electrical engineer turned tech author in the Cryptocurrency space. He got block-chained in 2012 and fell in love with tech and its use-cases and has been writing his way through innovations in this emerging sector. Over the years, he has worked with multiple Blockchain projects and premier cryptocurrency exchanges both national and international.