The Ethereum community, especially those involved in Ethereum development, is united more than ever right now to move the current PoW chain to (a) PoS chain, this event when the Beacon PoS chain will merge into the current Mainnet PoW chain is referred to as the Ethereum merge.
Before learning more about the current progress and events to follow before the Mainnet merge let us first understand the Beacon chain. The Beacon chain is a PoS system running parallel to the Ethereum Mainnet, it cannot hold accounts or smart contracts but will be soon merged with the Ethereum Mainnet to pave the way for shards.
Once the Mainnet is merged into the PoS system it will be managed and coordinated by the Beacon chain. Once this upgrade is done and Ethereum moves to PoS mechanism, shards will be introduced into the Ethereum Ecosystem, thus increasing the transaction speed and increasing the capacity of the network.
The Mainnet Beacon chain will be merged into the Ethereum Mainnet. Similarly, there is a Ropsten Beacon chain which was launched on May 30, 2022 to provide consensus to the network. Ropsten merge is scheduled to happen when the current Ropsten chain’s Total Terminal Difficulty (TDD) reaches 50000000000000000, this was to ensure that the upgrade does not trigger before the beacon chain is actually ready for the merge.
After the merge, the network will become a sort of two layer network, an execution layer which is the current Ropsten chain where the account state data is present and smart contracts are stored. The other layer will be the Proof of Stake consensus layer responsible to maintain the consensus of the network, which is the current Beacon chain. Node operators and Stakers will have to manually update the TDD value of both the Consensus Layer and the Execution layer clients until the merge difficulty is reached. Once the pre-defined slot height is hit on the Beacon chain the upgrade will start and once the TDD on the current Ropsten network is reached the merge will be complete.
After the merge, the node operators will have to change/upgrade the node clients for both consensus and execution layer nodes one after the other for some future upgrades/fixes (pre-merge only one client needed an upgrade).
This merge/upgrade on the testnet will give the community to evaluate and test the new frontiers before the long-awaited Mainnet Merge.
For QuickNode Users?
QuickNode users won’t need to do anything, as we are already running the consensus layer beacon nodes along with the current Ropsten nodes. You’ll have full access to the new Ropsten chain with your current HTTP and WSS node URLs.
Note: Previously QuickNode’s Ropsten API was powered by OpenEthereum, however, OpenEthereum is deprecated and will no longer be supported after the merge. Because of this QuickNode has transitioned to using Nethermind as the closest drop-in replacement for OpenEthereum.
Also please note that the Ethereum community has decided to retire the Ropsten network sometime after the merge. QuickNode will be following the community lead here and will eventually shut down our Ropsten network. Customers are encouraged to migrate to the Goerli testnet.
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