Ethereum seems to be totally committed to its plan this year as the full upgrade to Proof-of-Stake gets close. Marius van der Wijden, one of Ethereum’s core developers, announced in a post on March 10 that the final testnet had gone public.
The testnet is a blockchain version that allows developers to experiment with new features without affecting the mainnet. When developers want to add or update new functionality, they must ensure that the upgrade is thoroughly tested before going live.
“It’s time to get #TestingTheMerge going again! We spun up the Kiln testnet to test #Ethereum’s upcoming move to proof-of-stake (this should be the final testnet before we start merging Ropsten, Rinkeby, Goerli, etc).”
The Final Testnet
Named Kiln, the testnet is supposed to be the final public testnet before the merge. When the existing Ethereum Mainnet connects with the Beacon Chain proof-of-stake mechanism, the merging occurs.
As a result, the Ethereum network will switch from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake consensus. According to Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s father, the Ethereum consensus layer (previously Ethereum 2.0) will be 60% complete once the merging phase is completed and will exceed 80% once sharding is fully deployed.
The Ethereum consensus layer is halfway complete, although it’s worth noting that the network is still in PoW mode, and the Kiln merge is scheduled for the following week.
In January this year, Buterin shared some updated information on the Ethereum consensus layer’s strategy for 2022. Currently, the network is moving forward with the merge. According to the roadmap, there will be four distinct phases after the merge, including the surge, the verge, the purge, and the splurge.
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The surge is primarily focused on boosting scalability through rollup and sharding. Rollups are scalability methods that process transactions off the mainnet but with proof of transactions performed on layer 1. Sharding facilitates the distribution of network congestion.
The verge is focused on scalability, making node operations much more efficient, whereas the purge is dedicated to improving node efficiency by removing historical data. Finally, The Splurge showcases all of the extras, such as built-in censorship resistance.
Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake continues to be proceeding smoothly, as all accounts participating in staking are rapidly expanding, potentially indicating that expectations for the long-awaited network upgrade are fairly decent.
According to recent data, the total amount of Ether locked on the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract has reached a new all-time high of more than 10 million ETH, valued at more than $26 billion. This could signify that the community and investors believe in the network’s long-term potential.
Ethereum’s hashrate reached an all-time high of 1.11 PH/s in January of this year, demonstrating increased node adoption.
Furthermore, following the significant Altair update and the hard fork that delayed the “difficulty bomb,” the ETH network is gradually becoming more decentralized, laying the groundwork for a consolidation. The merger is expected to take place this summer.
To participate in the new consensus layer upgrade, each user must be able to stake at least 32 ETH in order to acquire a valid configuration on the network, which is equivalent to around 83,252 USD, a relatively big sum. Investors can, however, choose to stake on other reliable third-party platforms.
Most popular DeFi and NFT projects rely on the Ethereum blockchain. But the network’s current issues such as expensive gas fees and slow speed are making investors and Ethereum’s users start to look for other alternatives.
The network’s weak points are advantages for other blockchains like Solana, Cardano, Tezos, and Polkadot.
The progress of the consensus layer is projected to be a revolutionary step that will support ETH in reducing expensive gas fees and network downtime at specific moments while delivering better scalability and efficiency.