In a major breakthrough for Ethereum, the Ropsten public testnet is scheduled for the “merge” next month.
“Merge” refers to the merging of the current Proof-of-Work (PoW) chain with the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system of the Beacon chain. It signals an end to PoW on Ethereum and ushers in a new, more scalable, sustainable, and greener future.
According to Core Dev @preston_vanloonthe rollout is scheduled for June 8th.
Ropsten Testnet will be merged on June 8th!
The Ropsten merge is a major testing milestone for the Ethereum mainnet merge later this year. 🎉 https://t.co/X7eLIMA72g
— prestonvanloon.eth @ Permissionless (@preston_vanloon) May 18, 2022
Ethereum developers previously said the mainnet merge would happen in June, but in April developer Tim Beiko announced on Twitter that the upgrade would be delayed until late 2022.
“It won’t be June, but probably in the few months after that. No firm date yet, but we are definitely in the final chapter of PoW on Ethereum.”
Beiko’s announcement sparked debate in the Ethereum community about when the merger would happen. Based on code review and running test nodes, an unnamed pool operator gave an estimate of early 2023.
Others — including Week in Ethereum News founder Evan Van Ness — said the merger was off schedule rather than delayed. Van Ness said moving to PoS requires coordination with “the bomb,” which is notoriously difficult to predict due to hashrate and price volatility.
The bomb refers to a process that makes mining increasingly difficult and unprofitable over time. Removing miners from the network to be replaced by validators under a PoS system is seen as a transition phase.
All systems go
Van Ness added that the delay, which isn’t a delay, will be several weeks and not early 2023 as some had predicted. Given that the testnet merge is scheduled for June 8th, Van Ness’ statement has been proven correct.
Corresponding Van Loonthe testnet is a significant step forward for the mainnet merge later this year.
“The Ropsten merge is a major testing milestone for the Ethereum mainnet merge later this year.“
Eventually, unless critical bugs are discovered, the merge will be rolled out in Q3/Q4. However, no fixed date is known at the moment.