Vitalik Buterin’s recent statements have given rise to speculations that the much-awaited Merge update could be delayed even further.
Vitalik Talks “Risk Of Delays”
Ethereum’s transition from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, commonly referred to as The Merge, has already been plagued by multiple delays. Co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s comments at a recent event could indicate that the community might have to wait for longer than expected.
He commented on the status of The Merge when he spoke at the ETH Shanghai Web 3.0 Developer Summit. Although he mentions that the team is planning to implement it in August, he also touches on the possibility of delays.
“This will be a major test, larger than any of the tests that we have done before, Taking a large existing test network with many applications with proof-of-work, moving into proof-of-stake…If there are no problems then the merge will happen in August. But of course, there’s always a risk of problems. There’s also a risk of delays. And so September is possible and October is possible as well.”
Core Developer Confirms August Deadline
After many delays, the launch of the Ethereum PoS consensus mechanism was finally scheduled for August 2022. In fact, one of the core developers of the Ethereum network, Preston Van Loon, had even confirmed that The Merge is all set to happen in August. He had addressed queries about the launch at the Permissionless conference held in mid-May, where he confirmed the August deadline.
“As far as we know, if everything goes to plan, August — it just makes sense. If we don’t have to move (the difficulty bomb), let’s do it as soon as we can.”
(The “difficulty bomb” is the code incorporated in the Ethereum blockchain that can slow down the network during the shift to the PoS system.)
Testnet Launch Scheduled For June
The development team has been testing out The Merge upgrade on several shadow forks. In addition, it has recently launched the Ropsten public testnet for the revised PoS algorithm. The Merge is scheduled to be launched on this testnet on June 8, 2022. The Ropsten testnet bears a technical resemblance to the Ethereum mainnet and would allow developers to test out functionalities and create projections of when the upgrade finally goes live. Once implemented, The Merge will be the first upgrade on the Ethereum network, following the London Hardfork that initiated the ETH burning. After The Merge, the development pipeline has lined up other upgrades - The Surge, The Verge, The Purge, and The Splurge.
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