Ethereum’s Final Testnet Merge Set for Early August
Ethereum is one step away from the merge. And that final step is just days away.
The Goerli/Prater testnet deployment, the final test to be completed prior to Ethereum’s much-anticipated transition to proof of stake, will occur next week, according to an announcement by the Ethereum Foundation.
Testnets like Goerli are dress rehearsals for the merge, which prepare for that event by moving the entire Ethereum mainnet over to a test network environment. The Goerli testnet will be the third and final such dry run. Earlier this month, the Sepolia testnet went off without a hitch; in June, the Ropsten testnet successfully transitioned to proof of stake.
Between August 6 and August 12, the Goerli testnet is scheduled to merge with Prater, its associated beacon chain. The main beacon chain is the proof-of-stake version of Ethereum that’s been running parallel to the current proof-of-work Ethereum network since December 2020.
The merge will move all Ethereum network activity off of its current proof-of-work chain, and onto the beacon chain. If the Goerli testnet goes smoothly, Ethereum’s core developers hope to deploy the merge on or around September 19.
In the network’s current proof-of-work model, ETH is created via an energy-intensive practice known as “mining,” in which so-called miners direct huge amounts of computing power to solving difficult puzzles, in the hopes of receiving blocks of new ETH.
The merge will end the practice of ETH mining, and replace it with a process in which holders of at least 32 ETH can pledge their existing ETH in order to create more. According to the Ethereum Foundation, the proof-of-stake model will make the Ethereum network 99% more environmentally friendly.
Because the practice of staking will likely lock up much ETH already in circulation, some believe the merge will have a deflationary effect on the cryptocurrency, keeping supply lower while demand remains constant or increases.
Perhaps for this reason, ETH has jumped some 44% in the last month, compared to Bitcoin’s 14.6%. This morning, ETH hit a price of $1,742.42, according to CoinMarketCap— a level not seen since early June.