The Ethereum development team completed the final shadow-fork test (shadow-fork-13) on Sept 9, 2022, before the Ethereum Merge which is scheduled to happen on or before the 19th of September. This indeed marks a remarkable moment in the history of Ethereum and DeFi.
- Ethereum developers confirm the success of the last shadow fork on Sept 9, 2022.
- The Merge will decrease the Ethereum energy consumption by ~99.95%.
- Alexander Höptner, CEO of BitMEX advises Ethereum against downtimes.
What is Shadow Fork?
Shadow forks basically mean carrying out a series of stress tests for specific aspects of The Merge; It entails making a major change to the blockchain that will be implemented later on. The first shadow-fork was carried out on April 11, 2022.
With over five months in, Ethereum research and engineering company, Nethermind released a memo on its Twitter handle that the “Transition in Mainnet-Shadowfork-13 (the last shadow-fork before The Merge) was successful for all Nethermind nodes!🐼💪”
This shows the readiness of the network for migrating from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. The testnet enabled Ethereum developers, to test the whole infrastructure some of which include deploying Smart contracts, and running Nodes, among other things.
In an interview carried out by the local media the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, Alexander Höptner emphasized the importance of paying close attention during the Ethereum update to prevent service downtimes.
The Merge FAQ
Yes. To become a validator on Ethereum, users must invest 32 ETH.
No. The Merge is a change of consensus mechanism, from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, not an expansion of network capacity or throughput, and will not result in lower gas fees.
No. A tremendous amount of effort has gone into ensuring that the transition to proof-of-stake does not disrupt the network or its users.
No. More recent estimates predict a 50% increase in APR after The Merge, rather than a 200% increase. According to recent blockchain activity, miners currently receive approximately 10% of all gas fees paid. Extrapolating the 10% figure to average recent network activity, the APR for staking is expected to rise to 7%, roughly 50% higher than the base issuance APR (as of June 2022).
No. Fee tips/MEV will be credited to the validator's Mainnet account. Although withdrawals are not permitted, till after The Merge, which will enable the ability for stakers to withdraw. Validators will have immediate access to any fee rewards/MEV earned during block proposals.
No. For security reasons, validator exits are rate limited. The protocol limits full validator exits to six per day, i.e. every 6.4 minutes, so 1350 per day, or only 43,200 ETH per day out of over 10 million ETH staked.
No. Though some slight changes exist, transaction speed will mostly remain the same on layer 1.
No. Staking withdrawals are not yet enabled with The Merge. Shanghai upgrade will enable staking withdrawals. The Shanghai upgrade will be the next major upgrade after The Merge. This means that newly issued ETH will remain locked and illiquid for at least 6-12 months after The Merge, despite accumulating on the Beacon Chain.