Ethereum’s long-awaited switch to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus method, which has been repeatedly postponed, looks poised to happen in August. Hopefully.
Preston Van Loon, a core developer for the Ethereum (ETH) network, informed delegates at the Permissionless conference that the shift, dubbed the Merge, will happen in August if all goes as planned.
Van Loon informed the crowd of 5000 that the team was working hard to complete the switch before the network’s “difficulty bomb” went off as planned.
“August—it just makes sense, as far as we know, if everything goes according to plan. Let’s do it as quickly as we can if we don’t have to move [the difficulty bomb].”
Fellow ETH researcher Justin Drake echoed this attitude, saying that getting the Merge done as soon as possible was a key priority, adding that he had a “strong desire to make this happen before the difficulty bomb in August.”
The “difficulty bomb” is an Ethereum blockchain software that deliberately slows down the network. It was created to make it more difficult for miners to stay on the proof-of-work (PoW) chain after the Merge, hence encouraging the transfer to PoS.
Ethereum engineer says The Merge would not go live in June
The Merge was once again postponed on April 11th, according to Ethereum engineer Tim Beiko. Despite a successful “shadow fork test,” Beiko stated that The Merge would not go live in June as planned. Developers must act promptly, according to Beiko, to avert the difficulty bomb; else, they will have to release yet another update to postpone the explosion.
“If client developers believe they will not be able to deliver The Merge to mainnet before block times become too slow, it will need to be delayed again.”
The reaffirmation of the date follows news this week that the Ethereum network will undergo a “major testing milestone,” with the Ropsten testnet Merge scheduled for June 8. The Ropsten testnet Merge will unite the PoW and PoS consensus layer testnets. It will simulate what would happen after Ethereum and the Beacon Chain merge and the network becomes a PoS network.
The sharded chains upgrade, planned to go live in early 2023 if The Merge is successfully executed in August, will be the final milestone on Ethereum’s roadmap, formerly known as Eth2. To accommodate scalability and huge transaction volumes until then, the network will continue to use layer-2 networks such as Polygon and Optimism.