The long-awaited ‘Combination’ on the Ethereum network is one step closer to becoming a reality after Kiln launched the final public testnet to put it to the test.

On March 14, the Ethereum Foundation urged network stakeholders to test Kiln “to ensure a smooth transition to existing public testnets.”

“We strongly recommend that developers perform a full test and deployment cycle on Kiln and report any issues with the tools or dependencies to the maintainers of those projects.”

Ethereum Developer Tim Beiko confirmed that Kiln has gone live and will soon be ready to merge with Beacon Chain in a March 14 tweet. The testnet was launched at the end of last week in test-of-work mode only.

Kiln is now operating on a proof of work (PoW) test environment for Ethereum developers, node operators and participants. It’s the final public testnet before the entire network goes to Proof-of-Stake from PoW sometime this year. Kiln will fully test the merger sometime this week.

Beiko told Cointelgraph today that releasing Kiln “a week or so from launch to merger was definitely the intention.” He said that the developers of Ethereum wanted to “give the community the opportunity to test their products through the merger.”

oven was originally Released as a PoW testnet that mimicked the operating environment of the Ethereum network. It ran parallel to the Beacon Chain, the first major PoS component of Ethereum 2.0 (now called the consensus layer) where ETH holders can stake their coins and start securing the future of the Ethereum network.

The transition of the Ethereum (ETH) mainnet from PoW to PoS will be a major milestone in the evolution of the network. This next phase of Ethereum will allow the security of the blockchain to rely on staked tokens instead of expensive and power-hungry mining hardware.

Related: European Parliament Votes Against PoW Ban, Providing Big Relief To Crypto Industry

The PoW to PoS network transition event will couple Beacon Chain with the Ethereum mainnet. The merger could come as soon as this June according to an analysis by crypto financial newsletter Bankless, although it was scheduled for Q1 2022 in the official roadmap.

The 10 million ETH staked on Beacon Chain currently returns around 4.8% per year for investors. After the merger, that throughput could grow to as much as 15% and network operating costs will drop to a fraction of its PoW predecessor, Bankless reported.

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