In a significant breakthrough for Ethereum, the Ropsten public testnet is scheduled for the “Merge” next month.
The “Merge” refers to merging the current Proof-of-Work (PoW) chain with the beacon chain Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system. It signals an end to PoW on Ethereum, leading to a new, more scalable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly future.
According to Core Dev @preston_vanloon, the rollout is scheduled for June 8.
Ropsten testnet is getting merged on June 8!
Merging Ropsten is a huge testing milestone towards Ethereum’s mainnet merge later this year. 🎉 https://t.co/X7eLIMA72g
— prestonvanloon.eth @ Permissionless (@preston_vanloon) May 18, 2022
Ethereum devs previously said the mainnet Merge would happen in June, but in April, dev Tim Beiko announced on Twitter that the upgrade is being delayed to late 2022.
“It won’t be June, but likely in the few months after. No firm date yet, but we’re definitely in the final chapter of PoW on Ethereum.”
Beiko’s announcement was met with debate amongst the Ethereum community about when the Merge would happen. Based on code review and running test nodes, an unnamed pool operator gave a guestimate of early 2023.
Others — including the founder of Week in Ethereum News, Evan Van Ness — said the Merge was off schedule rather than delayed. Van Ness said switching over to PoS requires coordinating with “the bomb,” which is notoriously difficult to predict due to the volatile nature of hashrate and price.
The bomb refers to a process that makes mining progressively more challenging and more unprofitable over time. It is considered a transition phase to ween miners off the network to be replaced by validators under a PoS system.
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 8, Van Ness’ call was proven accurate.
According to Van Loon, the testnet is a significant step forward to the mainnet Merge later this year.
“Merging Ropsten is a huge testing milestone towards Ethereum’s mainnet merge later this year.“
Barring the discovery of critical bugs, the Merge will finally roll out in Q3/Q4. But no firm date is known at this time.