Ethereum blockchain is slowly progressing toward completing its The Merge project. The team recently launched another shadow fork to test its feature before the official merge. This is the ninth shadow fork to be deployed on Ethereum.
Ethereum Merge is currently the biggest news in the crypto world. A few months ago, the dev team shared that Ethereum would go through a Merge by transitioning from the Proof of Work to the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism in order to speed up transactions, lower gas fees, and enhance its overall performance.
Ethereum is the second largest blockchain in the world and houses some of the well-known platforms, including OpenSea. With the announcement of The Merge, many experts and analysts have attached high hopes for the blockchain network, especially due to the crypto bear market.
The market crash of 2022 has continued for months with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins down to their lowest lows, traders believe The Merge deployment in the Ethereum’s mainnet would finally pick up the crypto market, mainly Ethereum prices.
However, the team had been delaying the official deployment for weeks, until this week when it launched the shadow fork.
Ethereum launches 9th shadow fork
A Shadow fork test is basically a small version of a hard fork test. Ethereum has successfully deployed many shadow forks and hard forks related to The Merge.
The shadow fork takes one or more features from the mainnet and tests it to ensure when The Merge happens there are no errors on the mainnet.
According to the Ethereum dev team, the 9th shadow fork is also testing specific features before The Merge officially happens. This shadow fork was made to test the MEV boost feature and updates on Sepolia hard fork “but on a more intensive network,” said Parithosh, Ethereum’s DevOps engineer.
The MEV or “maximal extractable value,” is a process in which new ETH is created and can be profited by validating. This feature is different from the “mining” process where crypto miners use specialized hardware tools to create ETH. With The Merge, miners will “validate” pre-existing Ethereum coins.
“With the change to proof of stake, validators will now be the ones executing MEV, so searchers (the people who find MEV) will need to get their bundles to validators now (rather than miners),” said Micah Zoltu, core developer at Ethereum.
This will prevent miners with malicious intent to manipulate on-chain transactions, making it a safer and more authentic blockchain network than before.
According to the Ethereum team, the shadow fork was a success with no significant errors or glitches found.
There seems to have been a minor spike in hashrate that sped up things a bit. The TTD estimation tool I use is also a local tool, it caches a lot of blocks and tries to average things out, it seems to have a lot of stale state since I haven’t cleared the old state,” Parithosh reported.
“There were, however, no problems that were attributed to the TTD being hit earlier. All the nodes were ready except for a few syncing nodes. So this is a good sign that even when TTD is hit much earlier than expected, the network works as expected,” He further added.
The shadow fork is yet another test by Ethereum to ensure the final Ethereum 2.0 has no issues at all. This new test also hints that The Merge is coming sooner than ever.
When will The Merge happen?
Although the team seems to be delaying The Merge, the recent shadow fork hints that the team is ready to deploy Ethereum 2.0 soon in the coming months.
According to various sources, the Ethereum blockchain was expected to release The Merge in July. However, one major test called the Goerli testnet is yet to be deployed which will happen next month.
After that, The Merge will finally take place.
Ethereum prices after The Merge
The crypto community is very bullish about Ethereum’s Merge as it has the potential to boost Ethereum prices. OSF from Canary Labs tells NFTStudio24 that Ethereum prices will go up to an all-time high after The Merge happens.
Furthermore, with low gas fees and high-speed transactions, more and more users will be interested in interacting with the blockchain. Even now the market is showing great anticipation with Ethereum 2.0.
Currently, Ethereum trades at $1,217 and saw a 12.04% increase in the last 24 hours after the successful shadow fork. The prices will peak again at 2,000 once The Merge is officially deployed on the Ethereum mainnet.