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  • Writer's pictureConnie Chan

Ethereum Final Step Towards Mainnet PoS As Goerli Testnet Merge Goes Live


Ethereum has successfully pulled off one of the most critical tests in crypto history, as it completed the final scheduled test before the merge, moving it closer to the adoption of the Proof-of-Stake model, an upgrade that it has been working towards for years. The upgrade has been touted as one of the most critical events in crypto history.


A Final Dress Rehearsal

Since its creation nearly a decade ago, Ethereum has been using the much-criticized Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism, involving miners competing with one another to solve complex problems and validate transactions. The problem with this approach is that it is highly energy-intensive, significantly impacting the environment.


However, the smart contract platform has been working towards the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, which would see the phasing out of energy-intensive mining. Instead, the new method would see validators stake their ETH and earn the right to validate transactions. Proof-of-Stake requires far less energy and is expected to significantly scale up transactions on Ethereum significantly.


According to reports, the final test took place on Wednesday, 9:45 PM ET. a researcher with the Ethereum Foundation, Ansgar Dietrichs, described the test as successful, stating in a tweet that the most relevant metric for success in a dry run such as this is looking at the time to finalization. Another associate from Galaxy Digital stated that while the participation rate after the merge dropped, it could have been down to an issue with one of the clients. However, overall, the merge was a success.


“A successful Merge = chain finalizes. Sure, the participation rate dropped, and it looks like there may have been an issue with one of the clients, but the Merge worked. We’ll likely see minor issues like this with the upgrade on mainnet too, but the point is, the Merge worked.”


Merge To Go Live In September?

While the timing of the merge will be discussed at length at a meeting of core Ethereum developers slated for Thursday. However, previous meetings and guidance have indicated that the Merge could go live as early as mid-September. Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake has seen repeated delays over the past few years. Core developers have admitted that progress has been slow to allow sufficient development, research, and implementation time.


A Successful Test

The Georli testnet, on Wednesday, simulated a process identical to what the main network will execute when it transitions into Proof-of-Stake. Testnets such as Georli allow developers on Ethereum to test out new upgrades and make any changes needed before implementing them on the main blockchain. Wednesday’s test showed that moving to Proof-of-Stake and its validation process significantly reduces energy consumption and also proves that the merge process is working.


Josef Je, a developer who has previously worked with the Ethereum Foundation and now runs a permissionless peer-to-peer lending platform, stated that the Proof-of-Stake running on Georli will be identical to how Proof-of-Stake would run on the blockchain. The Ethereum Foundation shared the same sentiment, stating that Georli is the closest iteration to the mainnet and will play a critical role in smart contract interactions.


Looking For Potential Bugs

Tim Beiko stated that during tests, they know almost instantly if a trial run is successful or not. However, in this case, the developers at Ethereum will continue to keep an eye out for any potential issues that could crop up in the days ahead. Beiko stated,

“We want to see the network finalizing and having a high participation rate amongst validators and also make sure we don’t hit any unexpected bugs or issues.”

According to Beiko, tracking the participation rate is the easiest metric to gauge success. If the developer numbers dwindle during the test, it could signal an issue. He also stated that they could also look at Ethereum transactions and gauge the success of a test, stating that if the blocks have actual transactions in them, then the test is considered a success. The last major check, according to Beiko, is to check if the network is finalizing.

“If those three things look good, then there’s a long list of secondary stuff to check, but at that point, things are going well.”

A New Proof-Of-Stake Proposal

Developers at Ethereum have been testing Proof-of-Stake on a parallel chain called the Beacon Chain. According to Beiko, the original proposal required validators to stake 1500 ETH to use the system. However, the new Proof-of-Stake proposal sees this number drastically reduced to just 32 ETH. Beiko stated that while this isn’t a small sum, it is a much more accessible figure for users.


Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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