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Ethereum Merge Delay? Developers Concerned Over Shadow Fork

In the recent Ethereum Core Devs Meeting, the developers working on the Ethereum merge discovered many issues regarding the readiness of client teams for the merge. 

Despite the issues, the developers remain confident to be able to deploy the merge on the Sepolia testnet by the 6th of July.

Shadow Fork Raises Questions On Merge Readiness

In the dev meeting, a long discussion was held regarding the issues surrounding Wednesday’s 7th mainnet shadow fork. According to the devs, the merge went poorly. 20% of the nodes dropped off after the activation and even more fell afterward. 

Alexey Sharp, an independent researcher pointed out that part of the trouble, especially with the Erigon nodes, was related to the nature of shadow forks and not the merge itself. Similarly, the issue with Hyperledger Besu nodes was due to a concurrency bug in the nodes using bonsai tries. 25% of the network validators use the Besu software. These validators faced issues following the merge’s activation.

Nethermind-Teku client pair also discovered an issue, but the root cause for this is still being investigated. 

However, the developers remain confident to be able to deploy the merge on the Sepolia testnet on 6th July 2022.

It is important to note that the Gray Glacier hard fork will take place on the 29th of June. This hard fork will change the parameters of the Ice Age/Difficulty Bomb upgrade by pushing it back by 700,000 blocks. That is roughly equivale to 100 days. 

The Sepolia deployment on the 6th of July gives the clients ample time after the Gray Glacier upgrades to prepare for all the software issues.

How The ETH Prices Will Respond

Ethereum’s supply post-merge will go down by as much as three Bitcoin halvings. Lark Davis, a major crypto influencer and investor, shared that a successful merge would mean more belief in Ethereum combined with less supply, which could cause Ethereum prices to skyrocket. 

Currently, ETH prices have rallied by over 20% to reach $1,220. How a successful merge affects the trend remains to be seen.


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