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Ropsten Beacon Chain Successfully Launched

One of Ethereum’s testnets is getting ready to merge.

Ropsten Beacon Chain Successfully Launched
Shutterstock cover by chuyuss

Key Takeaways

  • Ethereum’s Ropsten Testnet launched its beacon chain today.
  • Ropsten is expected to merge with its own beacon chain on June 8.
  • According to Ethereum developers, a successful merge of Ropsten with its beacon chain would be a “huge milestone” in the process of switching Ethereum to Proof-of-Stake.

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Ethereum’s only Proof-of-Work testnet, Ropsten, launched its Proof-of-Stake beacon chain today. The two are expected to merge on June 8.

Replica Chain

Ethereum’s Ropsten Testnet launched its own beacon chain today. The launch brings Ethereum a step closer to its transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake, a highly-anticipated event colloquially referred to in the crypto space as the “Merge.”

On May 18, Ethereum developer Preston Van Loon announced on Twitter that the Ropsten Testnet was expected to merge with its beacon chain on June 8, asserting it would be a “huge milestone” towards seeing the Ethereum mainnet’s merge with its own beacon chain.

The Ropsten Testnet, which was created in 2016 and named after a metro station in Stockholm, is considered one of the best replications of the Ethereum mainnet. This close resemblance allows developers to conduct realistic tests before integrating updates on mainnet. More than 10 million ERC-20 testnet tokens have been deployed on the network.

Ropsten is notable for being Ethereum’s only Proof-of-Work testnet; it faithfully replicates any gas fee fluctuations that developers or users would experience on the Ethereum mainnet. Successfully merging Ropsten’s Proof-of-Work testnet with its Proof-of-Stake beacon chain would bode well for the mainnet’s own transition. 

Van Loon has stated the Mainnet merge was tentatively scheduled for August, though Ethereum creator and co-founder Vitalik Buterin has been more conservative and stated it could happen in September or October.

The beacon chain scanner shows Ropsten’s first few blocks being produced on May 30, 2022, 15:00 UTC. Its first validated block contains the graffiti “Lodestar-v0.37.0-dev.2883368c84”.

Ropsten’s beacon chain launch comes five days after Ethereum’s own beacon chain suffered a seven-block reorganization, an error developers claim was due to known bugs and out-of-date client software.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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