A shadow fork of the Ethereum mainnet went live on Tuesday, bringing it a step closer to the transition from proof of work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism for the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade.

See related article: Can Ethereum’s proof-of-stake transition save the planet?

Fast facts

  • The Ethereum Foundation is currently working on a multi-stage migration to the PoS algorithm, which will allow validators to create blocks by staking assets, instead of mining. 
  • A shadow fork is a way for developers to test the upgrade before deploying it on the mainnet. 
  • Ethereum’s move to the PoS consensus algorithm is expected to drastically cut down energy requirements and increase Ethereum’s scalability.   
  • The Beacon Chain, the first stage of the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade, went live in December last year, while The Merge, the next stage, is expected to be completed by June or early in the third quarter of 2022. 
  • The shadow fork explorer site was down at midday Asia time on Tuesday, but the network had processed around 1.8 million transactions with an average block generation time of around 13.8 seconds by early morning. 

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