Ethereum fork a success as Sepolia testnet gears up to trial the Merge

According to core developers of Ethereum Foundation, Tim Beiko, the Gray Glacier hardfork that delays difficulty bombs went live on Ethereum Thursday without any issues.

In the coming days, the Sepolia testnet will also run its Merge trial. This is the second testnet that will go through the trial prior to the official Merge.

According to Etherscan the Gray Glacier hardfork was initiated on block 15050000 at approximately 6:54 AM ET, June 30, according to Etherscan. Devs will have until mid-October to finish the long-awaited Merge, as the hard fork will delay the difficulty bomb by approximately 700,000 blocks (or 100 days).

Tim Beiko, the Ethereum Foundation community manager, quickly noted on Twitter that 20 blocks after the fork, all monitor notes remained in sync.

“20 blocks beyond the fork and it looks good: All monitored nodes, except @OpenEthereumOrg which doesn’t support forks, are in sync. There are no blocks left on the old chain!

Nethermind, an Ethereum ecosystem developer, confirmed the success via Twitter. He also added that the difficulty bomb was successfully delayed.

Gray Glacier hardfork is a successful Nethermind node. Block time will drop to 13 seconds. Difficulty bomb delayed
— Nethermind (@nethermindeth), June 30, 2022

The difficulty bomb is a mechanism that gradually disincentivizes Ether (ETH), miners from Proof-of-Work on Ethereum mining before the network’s merge with the Proof-of-Stake-based Beacon Chain.

This is achieved by increasing the difficulty of the PoW mining algorithm’s puzzles. It results in longer block times and fewer ETH-mining rewards. Due to the gradual slowing down of block-creation, this would make Merge much more difficult for developers to complete.

It was necessary to push back the difficulty bomb, as it would have slowed new block creation so much it would be almost impossible to introduce network upgrades.

Due to Merge’s many delays in recent years, the difficulty bomb has been delayed on numerous occasions. The Arrow Glacier’s previous delay in December 2021 pushed back the bomb until the middle 2022.

The Merge has been repeatedly delayed that memes about its delay are old.

Sepolia Merge

Beiko also shared a tweet from the Ethereum Foundation June 30 that announced that the Sepolia testnet would conduct a dress rehearsal for the Merge in the following days. This marks the second of three public testnets.

“After years spent bringing proof-of-stake Ethereum to the forefront, we are now in the final testing phase: testnet deployments!”

Sepolia is ready for the Merge, Ropsten having already moved to proof-ofstake and shadow forks being used regularly. The post was updated to add that only Goerli/Prater must be merged after Sepolia.

Sepolia, the second of three public testnets, is merging If you run a node on the network, now is the time to upgrade to an EL/CL combo Hashrate has been volatile, so we may hit TTD over the weekend
— Tim Beiko | timbeiko.eth (@TimBeiko) June 30, 2022

Related: Ethereum $1K price support is in danger as Q2 draws to a close

The Ethereum Foundation website estimates that the official Merge will take place in Q3/Q4 of this year. A recent post adds that “the date to transition to the Ethereum mainnet proof–of-stake has not been established.” Any source that claims otherwise is likely to be fraudulent. This blog will keep you informed of any new developments.

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