The ninth Ethereum shadow fork went live a couple of days back. This marked one final testing stage before it all (The Merge) begins.
As Ethereum developers gear up for the final merge, they’ve been running a series of test forks to replicate data from the mainnet onto their testing environment and prepare it in advance.
The idea of a shadow fork is to conduct a small testnet that focuses on just a couple of changes that need to occur when the main event happens.
The recent Sepolia hard fork successfully merged on July 6, and this ninth shadow test will test any updates made in that update.
The new update will focus on a maximal extractable value (MEV) boost feature, which refers to the maximum value that can be extracted from block production in excess of the standard block reward and gas fees.
Ethereum Will Leave PoW Behind: What’s Next?
As we have highlighted many times in the past, The Merge is a highly anticipated event for the community of Ethereum enthusiasts and the crypto space in general. In theory, the transition from Ethereum to PoS will reduce the project’s carbon emissions and improve the network’s energy efficiency by more than 99%.
This is because, once the mainnet is upgraded, Ethereum will no longer depend on miners and the high computing power of specialized equipment. Instead, it will use validators that have staked ETH to achieve consensus. As reports explain, running a standalone node requires locking up 32 ETH ( approximately $35,000 at current prices), though staking projects like Lido and RocketPool offer pooling services that require less capital.
In this sense, the Ethereum transition will make ETH mining obsolete. The update has been a multi-year process characterized by constant delays, although the most recent advancement to the final implementation is scheduled for 2022.
Despite the imminent move to PoS, some continue to bet on Ether mining. Recently, mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain began selling its new AntMiner application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner for ETH mining. The model was announced last year amid rising revenues for miners.
Ethereum’s Price Up 15%
The price of Ethereum has been boosted by the shadow fork deployment, gaining almost 15% on Saturday alone. The market value for one Ether was about $1,200 during Friday’s Asian trading session but had fallen slightly below that at the time of writing.
Ethereum has seen a 75.5% decline from its November all-time high, but it’s still up 13% over the past fortnight.
The Merge is far from the last update for Ethereum. On its ambitious path to greater scalability, the project also plans the addition of shard chains, as well as the adoption of Layer Two solutions. So is the $1500 mark inevitable for the top altcoins?