After Goerli, the network's third and final testnet successfully switched over to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm on Wednesday evening, Ethereum is in the final stages of preparation for the much-anticipated Merge event. ETH had gained 14% in 24 hours at the time of writing due to the merger.
Earlier this summer, the Ropsten testnet successfully switched to PoS in June, followed by Sepolia in early July.
The Goerli testnet was revealed at the end of July and took place in two stages, beginning on August 4 with the pre-requisite Bellatrix upgrade. The second step, dubbed Paris, was activated today after the Goerli chain's Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) reached 10,790,000.
The execution layer client switched to proof-of-stake in this second phase of the upgrade, with the next block created by a validator functioning on Beacon Chain—a PoS network that runs alongside Ethereum's mainnet.
Goerli, a testnet environment for Web3 developers to test blockchain applications before introducing them on the Ethereum mainnet, differs from both Ropsten and Sepolia in that it previously ran on the proof of authority (PoA) consensus algorithm rather than the proof of work consensus algorithm (PoW).
In addition, unlike the early integration, node operators were required to update their consensus layer and execution layer clients simultaneously, rather than just one of the two.
The Goerli Merge, according to the Ethereum Foundation, is the last chance for users to ensure that their PoS validators are appropriately configured before the mainnet transition.
It will also be the last test run before the Ethereum mainnet formally merges with the Beacon chain next month, with a soft deadline of September 19.
The Merge is Ethereum's most significant upgrade since the network's inception in 2015. It will replace the current energy-intensive ETH mining process with a PoS model, which is expected to improve network scalability and make it 99% more environmentally friendly.
It remains to be seen whether a smooth merger will help bring the current crypto winter to an end.