The long-awaited Ethereum Merge is in jeopardy. Developers working on the upgrade are estimating that it will be completed “few more months” after June.
Due to the success of testing, it was expected that the Merge would pass mid-year. However, the latest setback is not surprising considering that Proof of Stake was delayed continuously since its inception.
However, there are signs that the Ethereum mainnet and the beacon chain will merge to create a Proof-of-Stake network (PoS) this year. It’s true.
Tim Beiko, an Ethereum developer, posted the updated timeline via Twitter yesterday. He tentatively stated that the core developers are in the final stretch.
It won’t happen in June, but it is likely to be within the next few months. We are certain that we are in the last chapter of PoW on Ethereum.
Beiko observed that his comments caused controversy among Ethereum supporters and haters. Today, Beiko continued by commenting “that it can sometimes be difficult to parse The Merge’s progress when you aren’t deeply involved in the process.”
Beiko has published a blog post that provides more context.
Though I didn’t think my tweets yesterday would cause so much reaction, I understand that it can be difficult to track the progress of The Merge when one isn’t very familiar with the process. Tried to provide some context here: https://t.co/QTZ7CuapMf pic.twitter.com/MVXdPEj3NX
— Tim Beiko | timbeiko.eth (@TimBeiko) April 13, 2022
The developer stated that a date cannot be set until the “client teams” are satisfied that the software implementations are fully tested and bug-free.
These latter stages include the testing of various merge/PoS-related network implementations, as well as the rollout of shadow forks.
Ticking a difficult bomb
The difficulty bomb, an automated increase in mining difficulty that makes PoW mining less appealing, is another important factor. Beiko believes it will begin to be visible on Ethereum in May and make blocks “unbearably slow (read 15-20 seconds) by August.”
He stated that “if client developers don’t believe they can deploy The Merge on mainnet before block time are slowed too much,” he added.
Beiko suggested two methods by which the Merge upgrade could be delayed. First, combine a bomb delay and merge client releases to delay “bomb at certain blocks”, restoring 13s block times, then activating The Merge shortly thereafter.
Second, to seperate the bomb delay via network upgrades “which only delays difficulty bombs” before the merge.
“Unlike previous Ethereum upgrades, the Merge will not be activated by a block time. It will instead be triggered using a total difficulty value. These are more difficult to predict than block times so the time between The Merge being activated and going live on the network might be slightly longer than previous Ethereum upgrades.
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Parithosh Jayanthi, an Ethereum Foundation developer, suggested earlier this week that there are still some trial and errors to be done. He noted that three shadow forks were tested and found “bugs varying in sync code to request timesouts being discovered.”
Three shadow forks have been made of Goerli, with bugs ranging from sync code to requests timeouts. For more information, please visit the Ethereum R&D Discord Channels. Goerli shadow-fork-3 is available for everyone to test, and rated at advanced difficulty.
(@parithosh_j) April 10, 2022
After the successful implementation and transition to a PoS consensus system, the last landmark on the roadmap for Ethereum (formerly Eth2) will be the upgrade of sharded chain. This upgrade is scheduled to go live in the early 2023. To handle high transaction volumes and scale, the network will use Layer-2 networks such as Polygon and Optimism.
The price of Ether has seen a substantial uptick in the last 30 days. It gained 20.5% to stand at $3,126 as of this writing.