On Wednesday, Sepolia, one of Ethereum's public testnets, has undergone the merge. With this, Ethereum developers have take another step closer to the merge on the main blockchain later this year.
In this event, Sepolia’s proof-of-work chain (execution layer) "merged" with its proof-of-stake beacon chain (consensus layer) at around 2 PM UTC. To make this happen, node operators on the testnet's proof-of-work and proof-of-stake sides had to update their client software in tandem.
The goal of this exercise was to check if the validator nodes from both of Sepolia's two chains can work together. The same process is set to happen with the Ethereum mainnet merge event. While no date has yet been set, it is expected to happen before the end of this year.
Performing the merge on a public testnet functions as a dry run for the main network. Furthermore, the exercise is likely going to help client firms uncover and fix software issues ahead of the mainnet deployment.
Ethereum developers have planned to test the merge on three public testnets. Two of which have now happened: Ropsten and Sepolia. There is now only the Goerli testnet left to be merged in the coming weeks.