Ethereum merge

Ethereum 2.0 : The Merge to be tested on a second test network

 The Merge : with this merger, Ethereum is about to become Ethereum 2.0

Image Source : Ethereum

The transition from Ethereum to Ethereum 2.0, which will take the form of the so-called “merge” between the current and the new blockchain, is still undergoing preliminary testing. In the next few days, it will be the turn of Sepolia, the second network in which this process will be tested.

Starting with the merge, which may take place on Saturday, July 2 or Sunday, July 3, Sepolia will switch to using the Proof of Stake (PoS) method to validate the new blocks on its blockchain. This is what another proof-of-stake network, Ropsten, has been doing since June 8, and will be replicated on the main network in the second half of 2022.

The transition from Ethereum to Ethereum 2.0 is progressing well

On Wednesday June 09, Ethereum passed the major test towards its merger. A highly anticipated test by the Ethereum community was successfully completed. Specifically, Ethereum developers have moved the Ethereum Ropnstet blockchain from the so-called “proof of work” (Pow) to the “proof of stake” (PoS) system.

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin retweeted a tweet from the specialist company Etherchain, announcing the information.

This test is part of a major update of the Ethereum blockchain, called The Merge, which is expected to take place in August. This merge consists for Ethereum, to pass from a process of validation and mining known as PoW to that of PoS. A giant step towards a completely different system.

The difference between “Proof of Work” and “Proof of Stake

As a reminder, “proof of work” is a system that aims to secure many blockchains, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, through miners (a person or group of people) who use the computing power of computers to validate transactions and generate new blocks on a blockchain. The fastest miners to validate a transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain are rewarded with bitcoins, for example.

For its part, the “proof of stake” is a system that aims to secure many blockchains, and is considered an alternative to PoW. A holder of a cryptocurrency is selected at random and must prove, among other things, that he or she has a certain amount of cryptocurrencies to obtain the right to validate blocks in the network in order to guarantee its security. This method is less energy intensive than PoW.

A limited set of validators

As the Ethereum Foundation developers detail, after the merger, Sepolia will have a limited set of validators. The rest of the validators will have to move to Goerli, the last test network of the merger, in July or August.

As for the main grid, the Gray Glacier update took place on June 30, which was intended to delay the difficulty pump until mid-September. This pump will increase the difficulty of mining on the grid to the point of making it impossible.

Once a certain difficulty is reached, the switch to Ethereum 2.0 will be made and validators will come into play to respond to the proof of participation to validate transactions on the network. 

The step-by-step merger to Ethereum 2.0

The Ethereum Foundation developers explain in their release that this merge differs from previous Ethereum updates in two ways. First, it requires node operators to run and update their clients at both the execution layer (Ethereum) and the consensus layer (Ethereum 2.0), instead of running only one of these layers. Both are needed to run a network node after the merge.

On the other hand, the merge will be triggered on both chains (the original and the new) at two different times. First, the Bellatrix update will be activated on the Beacon chain, the original Ethereum 2.0 shard that has been active (but not validating transactions) since December 2020. Bellatrix will be responsible for monitoring the activation of the difficulty pump.

Sepolia’s Beacon chain has already met this update on June 20, and now it’s time to move on to the next step in the execution layer of this test network. This step involves reaching the difficulty bomb trigger point, the milestone that will trigger the merge on the current Ethereum blockchain side.

When you reach the block determined for the difficulty bomb run, the mining difficulty will be increased to the maximum, which will signal Bellatrix that the tag chain needs to mine the next block. When this block is completed, approximately 13 minutes later, the merge will be considered complete.

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