Tim Beiko, the Community Manager at Ethereum Foundation, has released details of the upcoming Ropsten Merge via Twitter. Per Beiko’s tweet on May 30, 2022, a new beacon chain is now live and the Ropsten Merge is expected to take effect on June 8, 2022. The Ropsten Merge will serve as the first dress rehearsal for Ethereum’s move to proof-of-stake (PoS).
The Ropsten Merge
Tim Beiko has released details of the upcoming Merge on the Ropsten Testnet. Ropsten is Ethereum’s longest-serving proof-of-work (PoW) testnet. Beiko has made it clear that the Merge on Ropsten will serve as the first dress rehearsal for the mainnet Merge scheduled for August 2022.
Ropsten allows developers to test new codes before they are deployed to the Ethereum mainnet. It was succeeded by Morden as the inaugural Ethereum Testnet and has been operational since November 2016, although it was reported to have been under attack from February to March 2017.
The Ethereum Network has been working for years to transition to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm and now the team is at the final stages of testing.
The Merge is one of the most highly anticipated milestones in the Ethereum network’s history. It will alter Ethereum’s PoW consensus algorithm to PoS, making the network far more energy-efficient and renaming it the Consensus Layer, previously known as Eth2. The Merge event is scheduled to take place in August.
“For the Merge to happen, we now need two things on Ropsten. First, its beacon chain must activate the Bellatrix upgrade, scheduled for June 2. Then, a PoW total difficulty value, the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) will be chosen to trigger the transition.”
The Difficulty Bomb
The difficulty bomb was created by Ethereum developers in 2016 as a way of ensuring that network participants moved to the latest Proof-of-Stake chain following the Merge. Mining blocks on the network would then require successively more computing power once the difficulty bomb is stimulated until it becomes impossible.
Due to the merge’s delays, Ethereum developers have had to reset the difficulty bomb several times in order to keep the network running until it is ready to switch to Proof-of-Stake. If Ethereum’s developers are ready to carry out the merge in August, they will not need to delay the difficulty bomb again, resulting in a smoother transition.
Before the merge, developers will run a test merge on the Ropsten Ethereum testnet. Earlier this week, a Github pull request affirmed that the Ropsten testnet merge will take place around June 8, indicating that plans for the mainnet merge are taking shape. Ethereum has already completed numerous merge testnets.
The Ethereum Merge is a much-anticipated update that will incorporate the consensus layer with the latest Proof-of-Stake Beacon Chain. The Merge will transition Ethereum from the energy-intensive Proof-of-Work consensus protocol to Proof-of-Stake, reducing ETH issuance by approximately 90%.
At the time of writing, the price of ether(ETH) is trading around $1,969, according to CoinMarketCap.