The last shadow fork’s successful completion indicated that the Ethereum network is indeed ready to switch to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
Shadow forks assist developers in stress testing synchronisation assumptions to guarantee network security during ongoing upgrades. On April 11, 2022, Ethereum engineers implemented the first shadow fork in response to The Merge.
The Ethereum research and engineering company Nethermind pronounced the transition to be successful over six months after the last shadow fork, Mainnet-Shadowfork-13, suggesting that the network was ready to migrate to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus method.
— Nethermind (@nethermindeth) September 9, 2022
Among other features, the testnet gave Ethereum developers the chance to practise running nodes, deploying contracts, and testing the infrastructure. Shadow forks therefore enable developers to assess the effects of network upgrades in advance.
The community must update their Ethereum clients and execute the combination of an execution layer and consensus layer as part of the upgrade.
Alexander Höptner, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, emphasised the importance of paying close attention during the Ethereum update to prevent service outages.
Höptner explained in an interview with Cointelegraph:
“You just need to be, say, awake and observe what occurs. High volatility is a possibility. You must therefore ensure that your services are operational. […] Beyond volatility, no significant interruptions are anticipated.
The CEO stated that community support would be necessary to The Merge’s success.