Ethereum Successfully Deploys Merge Test on Shadow Fork

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The Ethereum team has successfully developed a test for “The Merge” on a private mainnet, marking a significant step toward realizing Ethereum 2.0.

Merge Testing on Shadow Fork

Yesterday, Ethereum engineers launched a critical Merge test in preparation for the Ethereum network’s upgrade to Ethereum 2.0.  Ethereum 2.0 represents the network’s consensus switch from the current Proof of Work mechanism to Proof of Stake.  According to core Ethereum developer Tim Beiko, Ethereum’s Merge Test was successfully deployed on a private mainnet, dubbed Shadow Fork. Beiko explains in the post that the merge’s successful deployment is a vital step to an eventual launch on the public mainnet. 

Additionally, the shadow fork enables developers to pressure-test ideas and possible glitches in Ethereum’s transition to PoS. Ethereum’s flirtation with PoS protocol spans several years. In 2014, Vitalik advocated that Ethereum switch to proof of stake in order to boost speed, efficiency, and scalability.

According to initial roadmaps, the Merge will be the second phase of Eth 2.0 launch, after Beacon Chain. The phase’s success will combine the Ethereum mainnet with its parallel Beacon Chain, to increase security and energy efficiency.

Although the shadow fork test was successful, Parithosh Jayanthi, a member of the Ethereum Foundation, observed that two client blocks encountered some issues. Engineers are apparently attempting to resolve the issue and aim to redeploy the shadow fork on April 22, 2022. Before the Merge, the Altair was the sole upgrade with the proof of work chain on the Beacon Chain.

Previous Tests

Prior to this test, the merge was successfully deployed for the first time last year at the Amphora workshop. Their accomplishment gave the next phase a lot of impetus.

Last month, Ethereum engineers demonstrated the merge process on the Kiln testnet. The experiment was also a massive success, demonstrating the possibility of integrating the Ethereum network with the Beacon chain. The previous test allowed the community to experience running nodes, deploying contracts, and testing infrastructure, among other things. The Beacon Chain now has around 10.9 million staked ether with an average current balance of 33.5 ETH.

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