Ethereum’s successful merge of the Ropsten testnet overnight Wednesday Asia time brought the world’s largest smart contract blockchain closer to becoming a proof-of-stake (PoS) network.

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Fast facts

  • One of Ethereum’s oldest testnets, Ropsten, successfully merged the proof-of-work (PoW) execution layer with the PoS Beacon Chain.
  • The merge is a significant milestone for the Eth2 upgrade, and Ropsten is one of the last testnets before Beacon Chain’s merge with the Ethereum mainnet, which is expected to go live in early August.
  • PoW requires computational power and energy to validate the network, whereas PoS networks are validated by nodes that have staked crypto in the network.
  • The transition to Eth2 is expected to dramatically increase the network’s efficiency, of which Ethereum community members may address network congestions that have been causing spikes in gas fees.
  • Ether was changing hands at US$1,784 at publishing time. 

See related article: Ethereum moves closer to proof-of-stake after Kiln