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Dev explains what’s going on

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The long-awaited Ethereum merge will be delayed yet again, with developers working on the upgrade estimating a completion time “a few months after” June.

Due to the success of the tests, there was a general expectation that the merger would go until mid-year, but the recent setback is not surprising as Proof of Stake has been consistently delayed since it was first proposed.

However, the signs are promising that the Ethereum mainnet will actually merge with the Beacon chain into a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network this year. For real.

Ethereum developer Tim Beiko provided it To updated-Timeline posted via Twitter yesterday and tentatively stated that the core developers are in the final stages:

“It won’t be June, but probably in the few months after that. No firm date yet, but we are definitely in the final chapter of PoW on Ethereum.”

After noting that his comments caused a stir from both Ethereum supporters and haters, Beiko noted today that “it can be difficult to analyze progress on The Merge unless you’re deep into the process.”

To provide further context, Beiko published a blog post with a deeper overview.

According to the developer, a specific date will only be set when “customer teams are sure that the software implementations have been thoroughly tested and are error-free”.

These final phases will focus on the test runs of public testnets like Kiln and the introduction of shadow forks that allow developers to test different merge/PoS related implementations on the network.

Difficulty ticking bomb

Another important factor is the Difficulty Bomb (an automatic increase in mining difficulty intended to make PoW mining less attractive), which Beiko says will become visible on Ethereum in May and will make the blocks “intolerable (read 15-20 seconds ) will slow down .”

“If client developers don’t think they can deploy The Merge to mainnet before block times slow down too much, it needs to be delayed again,” he said.

Beiko suggested two ways the difficulty bomb could potentially be delayed to initiate the merge upgrade ahead of time, first combining a bomb delay with merge client releases to delay the “bomb at a specific block, 13s block times.” restore and then activate The Merge shortly after.”

Second, to separate the bomb delay by a network upgrade “which only delays the difficulty bomb”, before merging.

“The merge will not be triggered by a block time, unlike previous Ethereum upgrades. Instead, it is triggered by an overall difficulty value. Because these are more difficult to estimate than block times, the delay between selecting a time for The Merge and going live on the network can be slightly shorter than with previous Ethereum upgrades.”

Related: Ethereum derivatives data shows pro-traders are down, but for how much longer?

Earlier this week, Ethereum Foundation developer Parithosh Jayanthi suggested there was still some trial and error to do after noting that testing three shadow forks resulted in “bugs being found ranging from sync code to to request timeouts”.

After successfully implementing The Merge and moving to a PoS consensus mechanism, the final milestone on the roadmap for Ethereum (formerly known as Eth2) is the sharded chains upgrade, which is scheduled to go live in early 2023. By then, however, the network will use Layer 2 networks like Polygon and Optimism to handle scalability and high transaction volumes.

The price of Ether (ETH) has seen a significant increase over the past 30 days, climbing 20.5% to $3,126 at the time of writing.