After years of development, speculation, and delays, the Ethereum move from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake has shown real signs of life. The biggest development up to now was the Beacon Chain, allowing users to deposit Ethereum and start earning staking rewards prior to the release of the full Proof of Stake system. That’s all small news compared to this week–the first full test of what has been dubbed “The Merge,” moving the blockchain to Proof of Stake, was a resounding success.
The team is being very conservative with regards to the speed that they’re moving at. Right now the Ethereum market cap is over $200B, a botched merge could put all of that in jeopardy. That being said, this slow process has shown to be a good idea, as a number of relatively minor bugs have been found and resolved. In this full merge test, the issues were mostly manual mistakes by validator operators (which were immediately resolved), and a single bug causing problems with consensus on the block chain. This bug has already been fixed, and the fix is being tested prior to approval.
According to @paritosh_j, who works on the validator side at the Ethereum Foundation, this test was more than just the merge.
Not only is Ropsten the first existing testnet to get merged, it’s also the first testnet where every client team is running an equal part of the network. That's at least a dozen unique ways of setting up a node!
So far, this test has gone as well as everyone was hoping, and it should add a lot of confidence that The Merge is coming soon this year. That being said, Vitalik was quick to note:
I mean of course, the merge working well for 6 hours isn’t evidence of complete success," said Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, in the livestream earlier today. "There are all of these kinds of longer term issues around MEV and staking centralization and protection against DOS attacks and things that could potentially bite us 3 weeks after the merge instead of 2 minutes during the process.