Just-In: Ethereum Launches Sepolia Testnet As The Main Merge Draws Closer

The Ethereum merge will soon go live as the second Testnet Sepolia has just been deployed. The Ropsten Testnet beacon chain was launched earlier and since it went smoothly, the next key step towards the merge is in motion.

The dress rehearsal will give practical insight

The Ethereum Network’s Merge is the most anticipated happening in the Ethereum community at the moment. It standardizes a new proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism which alters the current proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism, where miners, through very costly resources and energy, discover new blocks and add them to the blockchain.

After the successful dress rehearsal of the Ropsten testnet, the second Testnet which is the Sepolia Testnet beacon chain has begun operation. This testnet would function just like the Ethereum merge and it would give the community practical insight on how it would work.

Sepolia’s dress rehearsal is necessary to ensure the upgrade works properly on all testnets before it goes live on mainnet in early August, if all goes according to schedule. This is unlikely due to several postponements by the Ethereum team.

The Merge was initially scheduled for June 2022. However, the ETH development team announced postponement. Ethereum has decided to delay the “difficulty bomb” for about 2-3 months. Once this bomb is activated, it will make the miners to switch to the Proof-of-Stake transaction validation mechanism.

Ethereum announces postponement for the sixth time since 2017

In a meeting last Friday, the Ethereum core development team discussed the “difficulty bomb,” a key catalyst in the long-anticipated Ethereum Merge. After discussing some bugs arising from the testnet, they proposed EIP-5133 delay the difficulty bomb to August. This is the 6th time this bomb has been delayed since 2017.

Ethereum’s developer Time Beiko said on Twitter,

In short, we agreed to the bomb delay. We were already over time, and want to be sure that we sanity check all the numbers before selecting an exact delay and deployment time, but we are aiming for a ~2 month delay, and for the upgrade to go live late June.

The Difficulty Bomb is a mechanism that increases the difficulty of mining ETH over time.


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