The focal points consist of updates on the Merge and Shanghai hardfork. Tim Beiko, leader of Ethereum’s group of developers, disclosed the latest updates of the meeting.
Key Highlights From Ethereum
Merge upgrades are clearly the main focus, as they herald the long-awaited move from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake.
The meeting began with an update on Merge hard fork testing. The testing phase “shadow forked” Goerli, letting, “client teams to experience issues with block production logic and differing timeout expectations.”
Shadow forks can be thought of as a way to learn about the behavior of post-merge nodes in mainnet settings through data collection.
Because shadow fork generates a duplicate of mainnet blocks, developers can identify potential issues in the future.
Two shadow forks have been created, with a third set for the following week. As Tim mentioned, the mainnet shadow fork is scheduled over the following weeks.
The leading developer spotted some issues, saying: “there are some issues in setting explicit timeouts, as it opens attack vectors to try and create blocks.” The team is working on addressing the issue.
Kiln, the most recently launched testnet, is also a key highlight of the event. Tim Beiko confirmed that the Kiln has been running smoothly with no problems so far.
In the following stage, it will be ready to merge with Beacon Chain. Kiln is now in a Proof-of-work (PoW) testing environment for Ethereum developers, node operators, and analysts.
This is likely to be the final test network before the whole ETH mainnet switches to PoS later this year.
The session also left an important note on the difficulty bomb. The difficulty bomb is a way for the Ethereum network to control mining difficulty.
Because the network is in the process of entirely transitioning to PoS consensus on Ethereum 2.0, the difficulty bomb will assist in deterring miners from continuing to mine once the network has fully switched to Ethereum 2.0.
Furthermore, it encourages developers on the original Ethereum chain to upgrade their network.
Essentially, network developers can set and control the activation time of this difficulty bomb. That means, if they are unwilling to raise the mining difficulty, they can lengthen the time.
This has happened numerous times. The time was most recently planned to begin in December 2021.
However, this goal was not met, and it was postponed until June 2022. The Arrow Glacier upgrade has contributed to its recurrence.
The developers spoke about timetables and difficulty bombs, attempting to predict when the next increment would come.
While bombs multiply every 100,000 blocks, Beiko claims that hashrates entering and exiting the network can significantly affect the outcome.
After the Merge, Beiko predicted that miners would start selling their GPUs, dropping hash rates and impacting predictions.
“So, with all these caveats, if we make some rough estimations, we can expect block times to hit 15s in early July and 17s in late July. Again, large error bars here!”
Old Question: When Is The Merge?
According to Ethereum’s upgrade path, the merge will occur soon, presumably this year, and data sharking will occur following the transition to PoS.
The envisioned scenario is that Ether holders are validators who participate in new block validation to earn Ether as a reward.
The merge will be the landmark moment of cryptocurrency history, with Ethereum proving to be the top smart contract framework.
Instead of consuming too much facilities and electrical energy for prior PoW mining, this next phase of Ethereum will provide blockchain security based on the amount of ETH staked.
Nonetheless, the development team taps the process very cautiously and methodically.
Instead of a quick merge, the team prefers a safe merge. The main factors are the user experience, as well as the stability and security of the ecosystem.