Ethereum’s final testnet merge goes live on Goerli network

At around 1:45 AM UTC on Thursday, Ethereum devs executed the third and final test merge on Goerli, clearing the path to the mainnet merge expected to happen on September 19.

Two streams merge concept, abstract art.

Goerli merge was the last dress rehearsal before Ethereum’s final transition to a proof-of-stake consensus that will mark the end of mining on the blockchain and drastically reduce the network’s energy consumption. Goerli was the third and last testnet to undergo the upgrade after Ropsten and Sepolia, which completed their merge on June 8 and July 6, respectively.

To switch the network from PoW to PoS, developers had to merge Goerli’s code with the Prater testnet, a proof-of-stake beacon chain first deployed in March 2021 to simulate validators’ nodes and staking. The merge of Goerli and Prater required node operators from both chains to update their client software.

Ethereum devs collectively agreed that Goerli’s upgrade has been a success, as the confidence grows that the final merge will happen as scheduled. Nevertheless, there are still minor issues that have to be addressed before September 19. According to Ethereum developer Marius van der Wijden, there has been some “confusion on the network because two different terminal blocks and lots of non-updated nodes” that took more time to finalize the upgrade, but the overall transition was “quite good” anyway.

As the Merge nears, Ethereum miners start looking for other PoW alternatives, with many migrating to the Ethereum Classic network, a proof-of-work fork that originated as a result of the 2016 DAO hack. However, a group of Ethereum miners led by Chandler Guo vowed to continue the existing proof-of-work chain by forking the network again. Their plan was so far endorsed by the Tron founder Justin Sun, who listed EthereumPoW coin (ETHW) on the Tron-backed exchange Poloniex.

On the other hand, main stablecoin issuers Circle and Tether announced their support for Ethereum’s shift from PoW to PoS consensus model. In the blog post, Tether wrote that “it’s important that the transition to POS is not weaponized to cause confusion and harm within the ecosystem.”