Ethereum is officially one step closer to “The Merge”, a long-awaited move to a proof-of-stake blockchain from its current proof-of-work consensus mechanism.
On July 6, Ethereum test network Sepolia moved over to proof of stake, leaving only one step remaining before the entire network completes the transition, expected to happen later this year:
Two Testnets Down, One to Go
Developers have now tested the merge on two public testnets: Ropsten, which successfully merged with the original proof-of-work mechanism on June 8, and now Sepolia. The next step in the process will be for a test to take place on the Goerli testnet. When that is completed, the entire network will securely use a proof-of-stake blockchain:
Ethereum developers also agreed to delay the Ethereum ‘difficulty bomb’, which is designed to intentionally increase block difficulty exponentially over time. After a certain period, it becomes almost impossible for validators to mine a new block, thereby discouraging miners from remaining in the proof-of-work consensus.
Ethereum’s journey to a proof of stake has been a long time coming, with the process suffering many delays. The Merge is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
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