The Ethereum network has entered one of the final testing phases before the long-awaited ‘Merge’ heralds in a new era of proof-of-stake consensus.
Ethereum developers and node operators have been testing ‘the Merge’ on Kiln over the weekend and things appear to be operating smoothly so far. Kiln follows the Kintsugi testnet which was launched in December to allow for initial merge testing.
Simulating Merge this week
After Friday’s Kiln launch, developer Marius Van Der Wijden said that the network was still in PoW and the merge on Kiln will happen most likely this week. On Mach 13, Beacon Chain community health consultant “Superphiz” confirmed:
“Right now kiln is operating as a short-lived PoW chain alongside a PoS chain similar to our current mainnet situation. This week, kiln will execute a merge to model that maneuver.”
He added, “Let me tell it as honestly as I can: Kiln is THE BIG milestone for the Ethereum Merge,”
According to the Beacon Chain Kiln explorer, 3.39 million ETH have been staked on the testnet and there are 105,974 active validators.
There has been no specific date for the merger as further testing has to be done, but the updated roadmap still has it slated for the first quarter. It’s likely to occur sometime over the next month or two.
The timing of the testnet and Merge rollout could not have been better as the European Union is poised to crack down on proof-of-work crypto mining. There will be a vote on a controversial Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill on March 14 which could result in a ban on mining operations in the region.
Ethereum staking milestone
Ethereum staking has surpassed a 10 million ETH milestone according to the Launchpad tracker. The dashboard is currently reporting that 10,485,206 ETH has been staked on the Beacon Chain. At current prices of $2,575, this is worth around $27 billion.
To put this into perspective, it was the same value as the entire Ethereum market capitalization less than two years ago in July 2020. ETH prices are trading flat on the day at $2,575 but the asset has declined by 12% over the past month.
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