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Mainnet Shadow Fork 9 Implemented on Ethereum Network; The Merge Predicted to Happen in September

Ethereum Mainnet Shadow Fork 9 or MSF9 has been implemented by the blockchain’s core developers. In preparation for the Goerli testnet merge happening soon, a Goerli shadow fork has been scheduled for July 20. Meanwhile, community members predict the Merge to occur in September 2022.

Mainnet Shadow Fork 9 Completed: Details

According to people familiar with the matter, the Ethereum Mainnet Shadow Fork 9 (MSF9) happened in the wee hours of July 15. To note, an Ethereum network shadow fork is an event that concentrates on a few modifications that need to happen after the Merge on Ethereum Mainnet.

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As revealed by Parithosh on Github, the ninth shadow fork occurred when the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) was countermanded at 53945568722258575228928.  

In anticipation of the big event on the Ethereum mainnet, this fork comes as one of the final testing stages before the transition to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm happens on the blockchain with the second-largest market cap – Ethereum. 

Initially, this shadow fork 9 was scheduled to happen at 15:00 UTC but it was implemented a few hours earlier. Parithosh, DevOps engineer at the Ethereum Foundation noted that the irregularity was due to developers’ estimation tool error together with a spike in hash rates that sped up the process. Therefore, the discrepancy was not an error in the code. 

Per a status report by Ben Edgington, Lighthouse nodes fell out of synchronization as there weren’t catching up until the next epoch. “A fix was already in progress and is now deployed,” he noted. Also, 4 of Besu’s 5 nodes did hit an invalid block while Nethermind nodes went offline deliberately.  

Particularly, during the Mainnet Shadow Fork 8 (MSF8), developers ran into an issue previously encountered during the completed Ropsten testnet merge. Consequently, developers executed numerous varied configurations to try to reproduce until the issue was sorted. 

Related: Sepolia Testnet Runs Through The Merge Successfully: Details

The Merge Nears

All of these recent upgrades like the MSF9 and testnets testings are because of the Merge, which some core Ethereum developers have predicted to happen in September 2022. Notably, the exact date for the Merge is yet to be officially determined. 


The Merge is an upgrade on the Ethereum blockchain that will shift the blockchain from its current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm to a more scalable one, proof-of-stake (PoS). 

However, the final Ethereum public testnet must run through the Merge for further testing and confirmation. The Merge on Georli is expected to occur in late July. After this, the official date for the much-awaited Merge will be disclosed. So far, both the Ropsten and Sepolia testnets have successfully run through the Merge.

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Ndianabasi Tom
Ndianabasi Tom
Ndianabasi Tom joined the crypto and blockchain industry in 2019. He is an all-rounded crypto content writer. He mostly covers industry news, developments, and other educational resources. He believes that proper crypto awareness is instrumental to achieving mass adoption.

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