The roadmap to The Merge just became clearer.
On May 5, Ethereum developer, Tim Beiko, published a new update detailing what must be completed before the highly anticipated Eth2 chain-merge can be implemented on the mainnet.
The key: a final batch of tests on shadow forks of Ethereum followed by trials on the network’s public testnets. Shadow forks, which will test how Ethereum’s clients respond to the chain-merge on small-scale forks of the network, will provide highly accurate simulations of how The Merge will look on mainnet and allow developers to spot bugs.
Public testnet deployments will also provide much-needed dress-rehearsals for the vast network coordination required to complete the upgrades. In other words, once the chain-merge has been successful on a dozen and a half more shadow forks and on three public testnets, The Merge will be ready for prime-time.
The Merge will unify the Proof of Work Ethereum mainnet with the Eth2 Beacon Chain, transitioning the network to Proof of Stake consensus. The upgrade is expected to reduce Ethereum’s energy by more than 99.9% by abandoning miners, and drive a 90% drop in new Ether emissions.
Coupled with the base fee of Ethereum transactions being burned, The Merge is expected to render the network deflationary — meaning that more ETH will be destroyed than created as new supply, likely driving bullish price pressure for Ethereum. The chain-merge is anticipated to go live during the third quarter of this year.
Beiko describes The Merge as Ethereum’s most complex upgrade by far, but said that after more than 12 months of tireless work, the finish line is finally in sight.
“While everyone is excited to see Ethereum transition to Proof-of–Stake, this is not the time to cut corners,” Beiko said. “Ensuring a safe and seamless transition for Ethereum users and the rich ecosystem built on the network is our #1 priority. We’re almost there!”