One testnet merger is all that is needed to officially transition Ethereum to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS), blockchain. The long journey to this point has been a long one. After many shadow forks and testnet mergers, the Beacon chain announced the final testnet merger.
With the launch of Beacon’s chain, Phase 0 of the three phase transition to PoS was initiated in December 2020. The current phase, Phase 1, was expected to be completed in 2021. It is now expected that it will be completed by September’s third week, despite delays and incomplete work from the developers. The transition’s final phase is expected to be complete by the end of 2023.
Tim Beiko, the lead Ethereum developer, took to Twitter to announce details about the Goerli-Prater transition. The Goreli testnet will merge into the Prater Beacon Chain. The combined Goerli/Prater networks will keep the Goerli name after the merger.
Goerli/Prater Merge Announcement Prater will run through the Bellatrix upgrade on August 4th, and merge with Goerli between August 6-12th: if you run a node or validator, this is your last chance to go through the process before mainnet https://t.co/JAz5AJe12B
— Tim Beiko | timbeiko.eth (@TimBeiko) July 27, 2022
The testnet merger will take place in two phases, beginning on Aug. 4, with the Bellatrix upgrade to the consensus layer. The epoch height 112260 will trigger the Bellatrix upgrade.
Ethereum’s PoS network moves in epochs rather than blocks. An epoch can be a bundle of 32 blocks.
Paris will be the second phase of the upgrade. This is where the execution layer will change from proof-of work (PoW), to proof-of stake. This phase should be completed between August 6-12. Paris will be upgraded by a Terminal Total Difficulty of 10790000. The execution layer will cross the threshold TTD and the next block will only be produced by a PoS validater.
Officially, the announcement stated that the Goerli merge would be different than the earlier testnet integration. This is because the node operators will need to update both their execution layer clients and their consensus layer clients simultaneously. Numerous client releases were also attached by the developer team to support the testnet Merge.
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The final testnet merger will not affect the participants and node operators, but Ether (ETH), holders and stakers will be affected. The final rehearsal before the official merge of the Ethereum mainnet with the Beacon network on Sept. 19 will be the testnet merge. The Goerli test net results could change the date for the perpetual Merge.
PoS transition is the largest upgrade to the Ethereum network since its inception. This upgrade aims to increase scalability by introducing sharding, and reduce transaction costs. Most of the scalability functions will be integrated once the transition phase is completed, which is expected in the second half 2023.