Ethereum’s Mainnet Tenth 'Shadow Fork' Goes Live Ahead of September Merge

Developers focused this time on testing key releases similar to the ones in the upcoming Goerli merge – the final testnet hard fork before the real Ethereum Merge.

AccessTimeIconJul 27, 2022 at 3:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 9, 2024 at 11:26 p.m. UTC
Layer 2

Ethereum’s tenth "shadow fork" went into effect Tuesday, 26 hours earlier than expected, as the network continues to run tests ahead of the anticipated shift from using the energy-intensive proof-of-work protocol to proof-of-stake.

In preparation, Ethereum has been undergoing a series of test, or shadow, forks, which copy data from the main network (mainnet) to a test environment network (testnet).

  • The fork occurred at 11:45 UTC (7:45 a.m. ET) when Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) was overridden at 54,892,065,290,522,348,390,492 at block 15217902.
  • The shadow fork brings the project one step closer to Ethereum's mainnet upgrade in September. The third and final testnet merge, Goerli, is expected to happen Aug. 10.
  • Ethereum DevOps Engineer Parithosh Jayanthi told CoinDesk that this shadow fork will test releases that approximate the releases that will be used in the Goerli merge.
  • As for why it happened earlier than expected, Jayanthi said there was a clear change in the hashrate, or computational power, that could have sped up the process.
  • This will not be the last mainnet shadow fork, and Ethereum will continue to run mainnet shadow forks until the Merge.
  • No significant glitches were reported.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.