Ethereum Beacon Chain Launches a New Testnet to Preparation for Upcoming Merge

The Merge will take place in August. Leading Ethereum developer Tim Beiko announced Tuesday that the Ropsten Beacon Chain was launched as a testnet to Ethereum users. Ropsten will become the first testnet to go through The Merge. This marks the end for the PoW architecture in Ethereum.

One Step closer to the Merge

The Ropsten testnet – created nearly five years ago and considered one of the best replicas for the Ethereum blockchain – mimics aspects of the ETH mainnet, making it a test model of what the Proof-of-Stake network may look like. Validators and developers can get a glimpse at The Merge, and see what code-related issues they might encounter without having to affect the mainnet.

According to Ethereum’s official blog post, the “Bellatrix” upgrade, scheduled for June 2, will pave the foundation for The Merge. Miners will determine the Terminal Total Diifficulty, which measures the difficulty of mining, within a few days to trigger the transition. The value will be required to be set up by miners on their nodes.

Tim Beiko, Ethereum developer provided more details on the launch, stating that – in order to make The Merge happen – the Beacon Chain must launch the latest upgrade, and the TTD of the PoW side must be determined.

Beiko also noted that there will be two additional testnets before The Merge’s final shift. This is to ensure that the transition takes place as planned.

“After the Ropsten transition, two more testnets (Goerli and Sepolia) will be transitioned to proof-of-stake before focus shifts to mainnet.”

The Merge Most Likely Arriving August

The Merge – the most highly anticipated event of the year to the Ethereum community – was confirmed earlier by Vitalik Buterin to occur around August this year. The process that converts Ethereum’s PoW consensus algorithm to PoS will make the network more energy-efficient and potentially burn more ETH than what will be created through validator rewards. The Merge could make the second-largest cryptocurrency deflationary.

To prepare for The Merge, “Shadow fork” was launched in April. It was a mechanism to stress test the team’s assumptions around syncing and state growth and to locate critical vulnerabilities in the code that could be otherwise unnoticed using the testnets.

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