Ethereum just completed a successful dress rehearsal for its most important upgrade ever

Ethereum coin

Ethereum just completed its first big dress rehearsal for a long-awaited makeover that will be its most significant overhaul since the digital currency was launched nearly a decade ago.

Cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and bitcoin are often criticized for the process of mining to generate new coins. Both currently use a so-called proof-of-work mining model, involving complex math equations that massive numbers of machines race to solve.

Ethereum has been working to shift from the energy-intensive proof-of-work method for securing the network to a proof-of-stake model, which requires users to leverage their existing cache of ether as a means to verify transactions and mint new tokens. This requires far less power than mining and will translate to faster transactions.

The transition has been repeatedly pushed back for the last several years because of major flaws in the implementations.

Developers told CNBC that the latest test run on Wednesday was very smooth, an important marker as the blockchain for the second-largest cryptocurrency gears up for its landmark move.

Here’s what happened. Ethereum’s longest-lived test network (testnet, for short) simulated a process identical to what the main network (or mainnet) will execute this fall. Testnets allow developers to try out new things before they’re rolled out on the main blockchain, giving them time to make necessary tweaks.

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