After relatively 2 years of development, Ethereum (ETH), the largest smart contracts platform, has launched the first-ever public testnet for the full upgrade to proof-of-stake (PoS) known as “The Merge”.
The new development was announced on Twitter a few hours ago by an Ethereum core developer, Tim Beiko. According to the core developer in a blog post, although client development and UX continue to be refined, users are urged to start using the Kintsugi in order to familiarize themselves with the Ethereum network in a post-merge context.
Tim Beiko tweeted, “Over the past few months, client teams have been working tirelessly to implement a new set of merge milestones. They are now live on a new testnet: Kintsugi.”
Over the past few months, client teams have been working tirelessly to implement a new set of merge milestones. They are now live on a new testnet: Kintsugi 🍵!
Here's how you can join the testnet and help with testing: https://t.co/ARDezguzXE 👀
Christmas came early🎄!
— Tim Beiko | timbeiko.eth 🍵 (@TimBeiko) December 20, 2021
Going by the report, not much will change for application developers. Also, tooling, which only interacts with either the consensus or execution layer is also largely unaffected. Although the infrastructure that depends on both layers will likely need to adapt to support The Merge.
“We recommend most projects begin testing and prototyping on Kintsugi to surface any potential issues soon. This way, changes can more easily be incorporated in future client and specification versions,” Tim Beiko stated.
What “The Merger” Does to the Ethereum Network
The Merge removes miners from having any role to play on the Ethereum network. The major upgrade will make validation to be performed by stakers that deposit 32 ETH.
2.3 million testnet ETH have already been deposited on the new network by relatively 72,000 validators, which indicates that the community is significantly ready for the arguably biggest upgrade in the crypto space.
Currently, the real Beacon chain has 8.7 million ETH staked, worth $33 billion, by 272,000 validators. Once the upgrade is fully implemented on the mainnet in 2022 as expected, these validators will be the ones running the Ethereum network instead of miners.
The upgrade is projected to reduce Ethereum’s environmental impact by 99.9% and lower its inflammatory rate from about 4% a year to between 0.2% and 1% a year.