The merging of the Ethereum mainnet with a beacon chain introduced in December 2020 is drawing ever closer.
The event, expected to roll out before Q2, 2022, will mark the much anticipated transition of Ethereum to a full Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain with predictions that ETH may flip BTC sometime in 2022.
As a result, members of Ethereum’s community, including leading coordinator of developers Tim Beiko, are indicating for stakers to get ready for the merge – and the changes it will occassion.
On December 20, 2021, Beiko announced the introduction of Kintsugi Testnet, a testing environment for the community to try out how Ethereum will be like after the merge. As Beiko says in his twitter feed, Kintsugi may be the final test phase before the merge.
In similar vein, a community member in the growing r/ethstaking community has reminded stakers to update their hardware as the merge will likely need more computer hardware.
The official community platform for Ethereum stakers has grown to 38,942 members since its establishment in 2020 – as Ethereum signalled its transition to PoS – a consensus mechanism that is integral to ETH becoming cheaper and faster to use.
Stakers stand to gain from the switch as all transactions on the blockchain will need to be validated by users who have staked ETH locking them in pools for an extended period.
For blockchains like Ethereum which are, in essence, distributed databases, the network’s nodes must reach an agreement on the network’s current state. Consensus mechanisms like as Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) help the networks to reach agreements.
PoS is done by validators who have staked ETH to participate in the system. A validator is chosen at random to create new blocks, share them with the network and earn rewards.
According to Ethereum, a minimum of 32 ETH will be required to to be staked for someone to qualify as a validator.