The Sepolia Beacon Chain will coordinate the validators that will secure the network after the merger.
After Ropsten, it is the second testnet testing the merge process.
Today, Monday, June 20, 2022, the Ethereum network has taken another step towards its new blockchain, Ethereum 2.0. This has to do with the launch of the Beacon Chain genesis block on the Sepolia testnet, which is the basis for its transition to proof of stake (Proof-of-Stake or PoS).
Beacon Chain is the name given the new blockchain that is being created both in the test networks and in the mainnet of Ethereum. What distinguishes the initial blocks of this chain is that they are the first to work with proof of participation as a consensus algorithm, which implies leaving aside the proof of work (proof of work or PoW) to validate new blocks.
Nevertheless, for now the Beacon Chain does not store transactions, but rather only serve as a reference for validators to prepare for when the move to this other mechanism is completed. There, these are keys to validating new blocks on the chain.
The creation and implementation of the Beacon Chain in Sepolia is the first step for further merging with the original testnet chain, which currently works with the PoW method. In approximately 10 hours from the creation of this block, the hard fork or Bellatrix hard fork, whose function is to monitor the subsequent activation of the difficulty bomb.
This bomb will spell the end of PoW mining and through Bellatrix, the testnet will start creating new blocks from the proof of stake.
Test networks, obligatory stops along the way
The same process that Sepolia is going through today happened recently with the Ropsten testnet. It also validated new blocks using the proof of work, but as of the successful transition on June 8, it is already operational with the PoS mechanism, based on validators.
After the merger was completedThe Merge) between the two Sepolia chains (the one using PoW and the one using PoS), the next step will be to replicate this process in Goerli. There is no date assigned for this event yet.
Subsequently, and if all the tests go well, only the activation of the difficulty bomb will remain that will end mining. This is projected for mid-September, as reported in CriptoNoticias recently.
What exactly is a Beacon Chain?
The Beacon Chain is the name given to the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain. It would be like the cornerstone of moving Ethereum (and its testnets) to the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm. This does not imply that the entire network already works with that method, but rather that that first genesis block constitutes a space to which the validators are added to make the new chain more secure when activated and receive rewards in return.
As described in Ethereum Foundation Blog, the role of the Beacon Chain will change in the future. For now, these honor the literal translation of their name (“beacon chain”) and act as coordinators and organizers of the validators that are added.
Developers celebrate the Beacon Chain in Sepolia
Given this milestone, considered very important in the transition to Ethereum 2.0, the developers did not hesitate to show their agreement on social networks. For example, developer Trenton Van Epps (@trent_vanepps on Twitter) shared a message on that social network that announced the creation of the Beacon Chain in Sepolia.
Likewise, Tim Beiko, one of the best known Ethereum developers, also retweeted some messages informing about the step by step process. Another well-known developer, Anthony Sassano, also reflected his enthusiasm for the event in the networks. “The merger is coming,” she wrote.