Yesterday, the tenth shadow fork successfully occurred on the Ethereum mainnet.
Mainnet shadow fork 10 seems to have gone extremely well!
The Merge is coming 🐼 pic.twitter.com/myiGBwoRXE
— sassal.eth 🦇🔊🐼 (@sassal0x) July 28, 2022
The fork occurred at 11:45 AM (UTC), 26 hours early, at block 15217902.
Why are these shadow forks important for the Ethereum blockchain
These shadow forks serve as tests for the transition to Proof-of-Stake. These are test forks, called shadow forks, that copy data from the mainnet to a testnet. Thus they are irrelevant to Ethereum users, while they are important to developers who are working on the Merge.
The next key step in getting to the Merge, which will replace PoW with PoS, will be the test merge on the Goerli testnet, which is scheduled to take place on 10 August.
Yesterday’s shadow fork number 10 is precisely a fork that is used to test versions similar to those that will be used during the Goerli test merge.
The releases for Goerli, the last testnet merge, are out!
Please make sure your node is up to date and configured properly!
Some config tips and common pitfalls can be found here: https://t.co/jkjF5FDJ4r#TestingTheMerge https://t.co/U3VFeWwJBA
— parithosh | 🐼👉👈🐼 (@parithosh_j) July 27, 2022
Also, it will not be the last shadow fork on the Ethereum mainnet, because more will occur until the actual Merge.
No significant problems were found after the shadow fork occurred.
Shadow forks are mainly for testing small changes that will be useful following the final Merge, which is why it has no impact on the use of Ethereum by ordinary users.
In recent days, the Ethereum mining hashrate has been slightly increasing, which is why the block-time has been reduced, dropping below the classic 15 seconds. This is why the tenth shadow fork occurred 26 hours earlier than expected.
The Merge remains scheduled for September
For now it seems that all the final steps leading up to the Merge are happening quickly and successfully. For this reason, it seems increasingly likely that the Merge will actually take place in September, as predicted by many now.
In theory there could still be unforeseen problems that could slow down the process further, but after many months of work, it now seems unlikely that this will happen.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that the Merge itself will be a process that will take time. In other words, it will not all be completed in a matter of minutes or seconds, but it will take weeks for the transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake to be fully completed. When that happens, Ethereum transactions will all occur on the new PoS-based Beacon Chain, while Ethereum mining on the historical PoW-based blockchain will slowly cease.