Ethereum Prepares For Merge With The Launch Of Mainnet ‘Shadow Fork’


Ethereum has rolled out the mainnet’s first ‘shadow fork’ in preparation for the much-awaited transition to proof-of-stake protocol. According to the developers, the purpose of the mainnet is to stress-test the existing assumptions about the mainnet and testnests.

Parithosh Jayanthi, Ethereum’s Foundation developer stated that the fork will merge connected fields to the configs of existing testnets. “We essentially inherit the state/txs of the canonical testnet,” he tweeted.

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The assumptions of the developers surrounding block construction and syncing may be stress-tested by inheriting the state of existing testnets. Additionally, the shadow fork will be linked to the peers on the canonical Ethereum chain, which means some transactions could be shown on both chains.

Transition To Proof-Of-Stake Consensus Getting Close

Ethereum has been planning the transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus for years. The chain has considered the latter due to its numerous advantages and scalability benefits.

The PoW consensus consumes more energy for block construction, but the PoW is not energy-intensive. Rather, it requires the staking of a cryptocurrency. The developers have promised that the transition to PoS will significantly reduce Etehreum’s energy requirements, which is the major issue many people are having against Bitcoin.

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The upgrade has been tagged “the merge” since it involves merging the beacon chain with Ethereum’s mainnet. The beacon chain will work as the spine of Ethereum 2.0, which will scan and validate transaction data.

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The PoS Could Go Live By July This Year

An Ethereum Foundation developer, Van Der Wijden, stated that today’s shadow fork is a game-changing event Over 14.5 million blocks have already been produced, with over 1 million wallets now registered. According to the block explorer, more than 2,231,000 transactions have been processed.

Meanwhile, another Ethereum developer Tim Beiko noted that the success of the fork will be a reference to determine the actual date for the merge. However, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, believes that the merge could occur before the second quarter of the year. This may not be so convincing for observers because dates for the merge have been postponed several times in the past.

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