Ethereum's main public testnet, Ropsten, is set to undergo "the merge" next month in one of the final preparations before the main Ethereum blockchain can switch to proof-of-stake consensus.
Parithosh Jayanthi, who works in devops at the Ethereum Foundation, merged the pull request on GitHub today, meaning that this code is set to be implemented.
The merge is Ethereum's long-awaited move to becoming a proof-of-stake blockchain, under which the current proof-of-work chain will merge with the new proof-of-stake one. It's a big change and there have been multiple tests to see whether it will work. The move to do so on Ethereum's main public testnet is one of these final checks.
When it comes to testing, such a transition happens in two parts. First a genesis version of the consensus layer is created, then the network — in this case the Ropsten testnet — goes through the merge. The first part will take place on May 30, while the merge is estimated to take place on June 8.
"Merging Ropsten is a huge testing milestone towards Ethereum's mainnet merge later this year," said Preston Van Loon, an Ethereum core developer at Prysmatic Labs, on Twitter.
Anthony Sassano, co-founder of the Ethereum research tool EthHub, told The Block that the public testnet going through the merge transition is the final stage before it happens on the main Ethereum blockchain. "I believe there will be three public testnets run through the transition and if all goes smoothly then mainnet will be scheduled shortly after," he said.
Sassano estimated that the merge on mainnet could happen as early as August but stressed that this is his own guess and no official timeline has been presented.
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