Ethereum Moves Closer To Proof-Of-Stake Merge

The Ethereum (ETH) blockchain has completed a critical step towards its upcoming proof-of-stake merge that is expected to occur this summer.

Specifically, Ethereum completed the Ropsten test network, successfully merging its proof-of-work execution layer with the Beacon Chain proof-of-stake consensus chain. This is a process identical to the one that the main Ethereum network will undergo in a few months.

The “merge” is a long-awaited milestone in Ethereum’s journey toward a new proof-of-stake consensus mechanism that is more energy efficient and better for the environment than the digital token’s current proof-of-work model.

Currently, Ethereum relies on proof-of-work (PoW), whereby cryptocurrency miners expend vast amounts of energy to discover new blocks and add them to the blockchain, earning newly issued Ether and a portion of the transaction fees and tips.

Once Ethereum shifts from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, validators who have staked the required 32 Ethereum will take over the role of adding new blocks to the blockchain. This new process will be much more energy efficient.

The complexity of such a change to Ethereum’s underlying code requires multiple tests on various testnets. Ropsten’s merge is the first test of its kind, and its outcome will help to inform developers’ future steps as they proceed toward the real proof-of-stake merge on Ethereum’s mainnet that is scheduled to take place in coming months.