Ethereum (ETH) has completed one of its last tests before moving to a Proof-of-Stake consensus model, dubbed “the merge,” as it will join the Beacon chain. The network’s mainnet ninth shadow fork (MSF9) went live 15 hours ahead of schedule. Several test forks have occurred on the blockchain. The test involves copying data from the main network to a test environment. No significant glitches have been reported since the shadow fork.
A shadow fork is a smaller test fork that concentrates on a few minor adjustments. These adjustments must be made when the Ethereum Merge takes place on the primary protocol. Developers spent most of this ninth shadow fork testing improvements and releases used in the most recent Sepolia hard fork. However, the tests ran on a “more intensive network,” as revealed by Parithosh, a DevOps engineer at the Ethereum Foundation.
While speaking to CoinDesk, Parithosh said a spike in the hash rate sped things up.
The 15-hour discrepancy is attributed to a calculation error on the developer’s estimation tool. It had nothing to do with the code. Parithosh stated,
“The TTD (Terminal Total Difficulty) estimation tool I use is also a local tool, it caches a lot of blocks and tries to average things out, it seems to have a lot of stale state since I haven’t cleared the old state. There were, however, no problems that were attributed to the TTD being hit earlier. All the nodes were ready except for a few syncing nodes. So this is a good sign that even when TTD is hit much earlier than expected, the network works as expected.”
Additionally, the shadow fork also tested Ethereum’s MEV (maximal extractable value) boost feature. The MEV feature allows ETH creators to maximize profits by prioritizing some transactions.
When will the Ethereum merge take place?
Ethereum has one final test which is scheduled for next month. The third and final testnet merge is dubbed Goerli.
The move to PoS is scheduled for mid to late September 2022. The move has faced several delays in the past. Furthermore, in June, developers decided to push the difficulty bomb to August of 2022. The “difficulty bomb” in Ethereum refers to an abrupt rise in mining difficulty. It is designed to dissuade miners from sticking with the proof-of-work algorithm.
Unlike before, it looks like the merge is ready to happen this time around. And it goes without saying that it is truly an exciting time.