Ethereum’s Ropsten Test Merge Goes Live

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  • Ethereum’s proof-of-stake test merge has begun
  • A test merge was successfully implemented between its Ropsten and beacon chains
  • Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has urged caution despite the early success

A critical step in Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) took place yesterday as a test merge was successfully implemented between its Ropsten and beacon chains. The event, which was intended to serve as a dry run of the mainnet merge occurring later this year, appears to have been a success so far, with a number of client software teams taking part and reporting no major problems, although Vitalik Buterin has urged caution.

Ethereum Merge on Track So Far

Ethereum’s transition to PoS has been a long and arduous one, although essentially a successful one. Yesterday’s test merge has, so far, proved to be a similar story, with numerous clients, including Lighthouse, Lodestar, Prysm, Erigon, go-ethereum (geth) and Nethermind all taking part and reporting no major issues.

Ethereum announced the test merge on June 3rd, the most critical aspect of the transition so far, signing up several clients to be the Guinea pigs. The test is measured by ‘terminal total difficulty’, with the test merge considered activated once this level of block difficulty is reached on the PoW version. The PoW version of Ropsten crossed a pre-set level of 50 quadrillion in order to protect the merge from any malicious activity by artificially acquiring the hashrate.

Buterin Urges Caution

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin commented a short time into the merge that while there were no immediate issues, “There are all of these kind of longer term issues around MEV and staking centralization and protection against DOS attacks and things that could potentially bite us three weeks after the merge instead of two minutes during the process.”

No date has been fixed for the actual merge, with all kinks needing to be ironed out in the test versions before the real thing can be executed.