The Ethereum merge upgrade goes live today on the Ropsten Testnet and it is transitioning to a proof of stake algorithm so let’s have a closer look at our latest Ethereum news.

Ethereum’s merge as the blockchain’s most awaited transition from the current proof of work to a proof of stake will be a step closer if the planned trial upgrades on the public testnet go as planned. First rolled out in 2016, Ropsten is the ETH oldest testnet which allows for blockchain development testing before deploying on the mainnet. Similar to other testnets, it is similar to the mainnet with a key difference that no real funds are at risk if technical issues occur.

The data for the upgrade was announced in May when Ethereum developer Terence Tsao broke the news about the Ropsten Beacon Chain configuration which is a PoS network whcih runs on the ETH mainnet and was merged and client releases can be expected soon. Things moved quickly after that with another developer Tim Beiko announcing the launch of the new chain at the end of May and the Bellatrix upgrade requiring conditions for the Merge whcih was activated on June 2.

The developers had to decide on the so-called Terminal Total Difficulty which is a pre-decided difficulty value where the Ropsten Merge happens and is something that they did following the day setting the value of 50 quadrillions. As Beiko explained, such a high value was chosen because of the low PoW hash rate on the testnets and the risk of the merge happening before the network was ready with the update. According to the Ethereum Foundation blog post, the client software teams that took part in the Ropsten Merge include Prysm, Nimbus, Tek, Lighthouse, Erigon, and Nethermind. Today, the Ropsten merge is a crucial step before the actual transition of the Consensus Layer that is scheduled for August this year.

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This will give developers a glimpse of what things will look like in the future when ETH finally makes a move to less energy-intensive PoS algorithm mechanisms. It’s also clear that a successful Merge on the testnet will bode well for the mainnet’s own transition. Ethereum core developer Preston van Loon wrote:

“Merging Ropsten is a huge testing milestone towards Ethereum’s mainnet Merge later this year.”

The process was in the works for a few years now with a few delays sending waves of frustration among the investors. The new PoS model is supposed to solve some of the biggest issues like the high transaction costs and the scaling issues so the stakes are really high but there’s a huge chance that this upgrade if successful, will become the industry event of the year.

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