Ethereum’s Oldest PoW Testnet Ready for Merge ‘Dress Rehearsal’

June 02, 2022, 10:45 AM AEST - 4 weeks ago

Ethereum’s oldest testnet, Ropsten, is ready to run through The Merge, a major upgrade that will turn Ethereum into a proof-of-stake (PoS) network.

As per a recent blog post from Ethereum.org, Ropsten will have its own Merge, which will give developers the first insights into how the real Merge will look on the Ethereum mainnet.

The Ropsten testnet launched its beacon chain on May 31, according to a tweet from Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko:

Progress Slow But Steady

The Ropsten testnet will use valueless ETH to run transactions, smart contracts and applications during its time on the PoS ecosystem. This will allow developers to have a broader notion of the possible results and assess potential problems for Ethereum’s mainnet:

However, Beiko said that developers and nodes will need to wait for two things: for Ropsten’s beacon chain to activate the Bellatrix upgrade, and that the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) is chosen to trigger the transition.

If you run a node, are a validator, or an infra/tooling provider, this is the time to familiarise yourself with the transition and (better late than never!) what a post-merge node is like.

Tim Beiko, core developer, Ethereum

Ethereum’s Merge Getting Closer

Ethereum’s transition from PoW (Proof-of-Work) to PoS has been slow but steady, and developers are now getting closer to making the dream a reality. A month ago, developers created a shadow fork to test the effects of the transition under Ethereum’s current mainnet conditions.

While many in the ETH community consider this a step closer to reaching a PoS ecosystem, a lot of people remain demotivated due to the constant delays in Ethereum’s transition, which was supposed to have been ready years ago.

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