The Ethereum blockchain has successfully gone through the last shadow fork days before the much-anticipated transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS). The successful deployment of the previous shadow fork implies that Ethereum is ready for the Merge.
Ethereum Merge Is Ready To Go
In the build-up to the much-hyped upgrade, Ethereum developers have conducted a series of tests to ensure that everything goes smoothly when the protocol transitions to PoS sometime this week.
On September 10, the network completed what its developers say is the final dress rehearsal for the historic upgrade, which is set to take place between September 13 and 20. The last stage of the preparations involved Ethereum mainnet’s 13th shadow fork, which went live on Saturday without any hitches.
Shadow forks are trial runs targeted on different aspects of the Merge, which help developers stress test for potential issues and ensure network safety during the upgrade.
Nevermind, an Ethereum research and engineering company, confirmed that the last shadow fork was completed successfully, signaling the readiness of the transition to a PoS consensus mechanism. The research company posted an update on Twitter saying, “Transition in Mainnet-Shadowfork-13 (the last shadow fork before The Merge) was successful for all Nethermind nodes!”
Speaking about the progress, several Ethereum developers said that “no issues surfaced” as the final shadow fork of the network was successfully deployed (Decrypt).
It is important to note that the Ethereum network encountered some glitches when its “missed block rate” surged by 1,700% during the Bellatrix pre-merge upgrade two weeks ago.
The missed block rate is a metric used to measure the frequency at which the Ethereum network fails to verify blocks of transactions waiting to be validated. Usually, around 5% of the blocks encounter this problem, but a few hours after the Bellatrix upgrade, the figure spiked to 9%.
This is why testsnets are essential, as they allow developers to practice testing the infrastructure, running nodes, and deploying contracts, among other functionalities. Consequently, shadow forks enable Ethereum developers to gauge the implications of the Merge before it happens.
In preparation for The Merge, Ethereum developers implemented the first shadow fork on April 11, 2022.
The Ethereum Merge Progress is 99% Complete.
Data on the Ethereum Merge Countdown by OKLink shows that The Merge progress is 99.65% complete. The Ethereum network hash rate is now close to the ideal level of the 879 TH/s mark, standing at approximately 875 TH/s at the time of writing this article. Current estimates based on the hash rate put the event date on September 15.
Ethereum (ETH) core developers confirmed the final date of the Merge during a meeting last month. The developers said that the final Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) required for the mainnet to ensure a smooth transition is 58750000000000000000000. The TTD now stands at 58540971761628389647462, suggesting that the time for the Ethereum Merge is close.
Meanwhile, data from EtherNodes reveals approximately 85% of Ethereum nodes are ready for The Merge. According to the website, 84.8% of Ethereum’s nodes have been marked as “Merger Ready,” with 15,520,176 blocks already completed. This leaves 17,174 leagues expected to be completed over the remaining two days.
The Merge upgrade is expected to occur at around block 15,537,351.