Ethereum’s First Shadow Fork Officially Launches Ahead of POS Test

Today marked the official launch of the first Ethereum mainnet shadow split. The creators of the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization are continuing their shift to a Proof-of-Stake network (PoS).

Today, Ethereum developers accomplished a critical milestone in their multi-stage shift to a PoS consensus process. “We’re extremely near to a historic moment,” developer Marius Van Der Wijden previously tweeted. We’re doing a proof-of-stake test on #Ethereum. Today marks the first-ever mainnet shadow fork. We’re around 690 blocks (2 hours) from TTD.”

According to Marius Van Der Wijden’s block explorer website, the new shadow fork merge has begun on the Ethereum mainnet, serving as a test for genuine merging. At the time of writing, the shadow fork merge has processed 1,558,014 transactions with an average block duration of 13.8 seconds.

The real merging, scheduled for later this year, would replace Ethereum’s present energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) technique for validating transactions. Transactions will be verified in PoS by nodes operated by “stakers” rather than “miners.” Users will be able to verify transactions depending on their contribution of coins or stakes to the network. Users who stake more coins have a better chance of being chosen to verify network transactions and earn rewards.

The primary downside of PoS is the need for advanced cryptographic skills to handle the migration procedure. Additionally, familiarity with the whole procedure is critical, since each stage is costly and possibly dangerous. Even the most sophisticated simulations cannot completely anticipate the crypto-economics at play.

The precise date of the merger has not yet been announced. The next examination will take place on April 22. Therefore, developers will have a better understanding of when it could occur. According to Tim Beiko, an Ethereum engineer, the merger will occur in July. He did, however, clarify that it is a “rough estimate.” Although the real fusion will take months, today’s test demonstrated that it is achievable.

Previously, the Ethereum Foundation attempted shadow forks on the Goerli testnet, which is designed to evaluate decentralized apps. There were several timeout difficulties with the Goerli testnet shadow fork. Later, a second fork was initiated, followed by a third.

Kiln was the following testnet that combined the PoW execution layer with the PoS Beacon Chain. Parithosh, an Ethereum engineer, said of the Kiln testnet, “The purpose of the Kiln merging testnet was to enable the community to experience operating their nodes, installing contracts, and testing infrastructure, among other things.” However, since this is a “new” testnet with low activity, we required a mechanism to stress test our syncing and state growth assumptions. Additionally, we want a means of determining if our hypotheses hold true on current testnets and/or mainnet.” As a result, the mainnet shadow fork was made public.

Currently, Ethereum has both proof-of-work and proof-of-stake chains operating concurrently. Both have validators, but the proof-of-work chain is the only one that executes transactions. After the integration is complete, Ethereum blockchain will entirely migrate to a proof of stake network called the Beacon Chain.

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