Ethereum executes second mainnet shadow fork at Devconnect hackathon

Developers met in Amsterdam and successfully shadow-forked the mainnet for a second time, but the Merge is delayed anyway.

View of Amsterdam at dusk

Ethereum developers were in high spirits after the second Ethereum mainnet shadow fork, which stress tests the network’s sync and state growth, went according to plan. Some minor issues did crop up, but they were patched efficiently, the team said.

The first fork, executed earlier this month, revealed some bugs too, but it was nevertheless hailed as “close to a historical event.”

The second fork was one of the highlights of EFDevconnect, a week-long series of events on all things Ethereum held in Amsterdam from April 18 to 25. The schedule included a hackathon, co-working, and talks on everything from Web3 transition to decentralized identity.

All events were independent of each other, but the overarching purpose of the gathering was to “focus on depth-first sessions rather than size, and to bring the Ethereum community together in smaller groups to talk.”

Another delay

The Merge was not very visible in the schedule. Instead, the Ethereum Foundation (EF) seized the opportunity to draw attention to a freshly published EF report, which outlines the team’s “vision of Ethereum as an infinite garden” and includes a 2021 financial summary.

The Merge has the team on their toes, with billions of dollars and Ethereum’s mission at – well, at stake. On April 21, the number of active validators surpassed 350,000. At the time of writing, the network had over 12 million staked ETH.

Despite these positive signals, Ethereum has already confirmed another delay of the Merge. The new goal date hasn’t been announced yet, but the general timeline is pushed from late June or early July to Q3 or even Q4 2022. Still, the team remains enthusiastic.

According to Beiko, Ethereum lead developer, the extra time will be used to execute more shadow forks to iron out all outstanding issues. Once client teams are confident during shadow forks, Ethereum will run the existing testnets, first Ropsten, then Goerli, through the Merge.