The long-awaited transition to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mining approaches. In the meantime, the network will undergo another fork, called a shadow fork.
The new fork was announced by Paritosh Jayanti, one of Ethereum’s validators. According to him, the division will be carried out on the mainnet of the network with the aim of testing the developers’ assumptions. The assumptions were created in the testnet and will now be applied in the mainnet.
Shadow fork – Preparing for the end of PoW
Jayanthi, who is also a developer at the Ethereum Foundation, the fork adds fields related to The Merge to the test settings. With this, the developer intends to test functions such as the synchronization and construction time of the blocks.
The shadow fork will be connected to its nodes on the main Ethereum chain, i.e. some transactions will appear on the testnet and the main one.
The new network already has a active block explorer, which has been recording transactions since April 8. At the time of writing, more than 9,9 million transactions have already been processed. The shadow fork also has over 3 million registered wallet addresses and 14.5 million blocks. Each block is produced on average every 14.8 seconds.
With The Merge, ETH will finally abandon mining via Proof of Work (PoW) and adopt PoS. At first, this update was supposed to take place in 2015, but it was delayed by almost seven years.
The name The Merge came from the way the process will take place. The main Ethereum network will be joined with the Beacon Chain, a network that validates transactions from the consensus layer (formerly Ethereum 2.0).
Mining via PoW requires high energy consumption to build a block, while PoS requires much lower consumption. Clean mining advocates see this shift as one of ETH’s biggest advantages over Bitcoin.
The shadow fork release was seen as positive by Ethereum developers. Van der Wijden called the launch a “historic event”. On the other hand, developer Tim Beiko claims that the success of this fork will serve to set the end date for The Merge.
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, has reiterated that the upgrade should take place before July of this year, but the dates for the upgrade have been pushed forward several times before.
Jayanthi claims that the shadow fork is working and that some issues have already been noticed with software providers Nevermind and Bisu. However, these are less serious problems.
The shadow fork is the latest of the latest test events for The Merge, with other tests performed successfully. For example, the Klin testnet was launched in mid-March, and it was considered a success.