Ethereum Beacon Chain Releases on a New Testnet in Preparation for Upcoming Merge

The Ropsten testnet, as one of the longest-lived proof-of-work (PoW) testnet on Ethereum, is set to run through The Merge around June 8.

As the merge is set to happen in August, leading Ethereum developer, Tim, Beiko announced on Tuesday that the Ropsten Beacon Chain had been released as a testnet for Ethereum users. Ropsten will be the first longstanding testnet to run via the Merge, which marks the end of the PoW architecture of Ethereum.

A Step Towards The Merge

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The Ropsten testnet – fabricated five years ago and considered of the best replicas for the Ethereum blockchain – mimics aspects of the ETH mainnet, making it a test model of what the Proof-of-Stake network may look like. For devs and validators, they can have a first glimpse into The Merge and what code-related problems they may encounter without affecting the mainnet.

As stated in Ethereum’s official blog post, the “Bellatrix” upgrade, scheduled for June 2, will pave the foundation for The Merge. A few days after this, a metric known as the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) that measures mining difficulty will be determined by miners to trigger the transition. Miners will then need to configure their nodes with the given value.

Ethereum developer Tim Beiko provided more details on the launch, stating that – to make The Merge happen – the Beacon Chain must release the latest upgrade, and the TTD of the PoW side must be determined.

Apart from this, Beiko observes that there would be two more tenets to go through before the final shift to The Merge to ensure that the transition will be executed appropriately.

“After the Ropsten transition, two more tenets (Goerli and Sepolia) will be transitioned to proof-of-stake before focus shifts to mainnet.”

The Merge Likely Arriving in August

The Merge – the most highly anticipated event of the year to the Ethereum community –  was confirmed earlier by Vitalik Buterin to occur around August this year. The process that converts Ethereum’s PoW consensus algorithm to PoS will make the network more energy-efficient and potentially burn more ETH than what will be created through validator rewards. Through The Merge, the second-largest cryptocurrency might become deflationary.

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As part of the preparation for the Merge,  “Shadow fork” was launched in April. It was a mechanism to stress test the team’s assumptions around syncing and state growth and to locate critical vulnerabilities in the code that could be otherwise unnoticed using the tenets,

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