Ethereum’s Move to PoS Advances as Mainnet ‘Shadow Fork’ Goes Live

By Robert Drage April 13, 2022 In Crypto Staking, Ethereum, Mining

With Ethereum’s move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) getting closer developers have created a “shadow fork” that will allow them to test the new configuration on mainnet-like conditions.

A critical testing period for Ethereum’s move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) from the power heavy Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm has been initiated. The so-called “shadow fork” will be implemented to test the effects of the transition under the network’s current circumstances.

According to a tweet from Marius Van Der Wijden – an Ethereum software developer – this is an historic moment for Ethereum: “Today will be the first mainnet shadow fork ever.”

Ethereum Foundation developer Parithosh Jayanthi also tweeted that this was a good opportunity for the community to “practise running their nodes, deploying contracts, testing infrastructure, etc”, so they can get used to the “post-merge world”.


What is a ‘Shadow Fork’?

The term “shadow fork” refers to copying mainnet data to a testnet where developers can test new features under realistic conditions before deploying major changes on the mainnet:

At the time of writing, the shadow fork had processed over 5 million transactions with an average block time of 14.2 seconds, according to the BlockExplorer page shared by Van Der Wijden.

To reiterate, a shadow fork does not affect the canonical chain in any meaningful way. Transactions submitted to the shadow fork could be included in the main chain as well. Proceed with extreme caution!

Parithosh Jayanthi, Ethereum Foundation developer

Robert Drage

Robert Drage

Robert is a freelance researcher, with a background in information science currently interested in blockchain technology and technical developments in the field.

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