Ethereum Foundation Launches Its First Mainnet Replica (Shadow Fork) Ahead Of Its Transition

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The Ethereum network is on the brink of a successful transition from proof of work (PoW) to proof of stake (PoS) consensus model as it released its first mainnet replica, Shadow Fork, on Monday.

The network aimed at carrying out a stress test to confirm the capacity and efficiency of the new model as depicted by the previous testnets done and also to know how swift the adoption of PoS would be.

Parathi Jayanathi, an Engineer at Ethereum DevOps, tweeted that the previous testnet ‘Kiln merge’ was carried out to allow the network to test run their nodes, inspect the facilities and transaction throughput. 

He added that being the last testnet before the merge is released, the Kiln also helped them to confirm their assumptions on the syncing and progress of the network’s execution layer transition.

Ethereum’s Upgrade From PoW to PoS Almost Completed

The roadmap of Ethereum’s execution layer transition was recorded in a blog post shared by the network last month. The post expatiates much on how the network dedicated six years of research and development to ensure it produces a highly secured, better performance and energy-efficient model, PoS.

Unlike the PoW which consumes massive energy to mine a block, the PoS needs far less energy to validate a transaction. This is the main pain point why Ethereum is shifting from PoW to PoS. In the PoS consensus model, stakers validate transactions instead of miners as in PoW.

The Mechanism Of Ethereum’s Shadow Fork

Ethereum Shadow Fork is a testnet that is a replica of the Ethereum network itself. It works by moving data from the network to its replicate, tests are then carried out on the replicate to see if the added features are ready for adoption on the main network or need improvement.

Recently, reports have it that the replica processes millions of transactions per day.

Recently, Marius Van Der Wijden, a developer at Ethereum Network tweeted that the testnet, ‘Shadow Fork’ was currently recorded with a processing speed of about 1,166,016 transactions in a space of 14.8 secs.

The success of the testnet is a huge milestone that shows the network is closer to completing its transition to a better execution layer. 

The first step the network took towards upgrading to Ethereum 2.0 was the Beacon Chain which was released late last year. Followed by the Kiln merge testnet aimed at keeping the nodes, facilities and contracts execution in order. The last of the testnets is the Shadow Fork which was recently launched.

The report has it that the next step the network will take to actualise its upgrading is called The Merge. The network plans to complete it by June or by the early part of the third quarter of this year, 2022.  The Shadow Fork is still under evaluation as it continues to execute test transactions. The success of this stage is crucial as it would lead to the release of the real merge which all Ethereum enthusiasts have been eagerly waiting for.


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