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The Ethereum ETH/USD blockchain moved one step closer to the ‘Merge’ after successfully deploying another “shadow fork.”

What Happened: Shadow fork 9 went live at 0:00 UTC on Wednesday, 15 hours ahead of schedule.

A shadow fork is deployed for the purpose of testing a small number of specific changes that will be in effect after the ‘Merge.’ Today’s shadow fork was focused on testing the MEV-boost or “Maximum Extractable Value.”

See Also: HOW TO BUY ETHEREUM (ETH)

In its current Proof-of-Work state, MEV is referred to as “Miner Extractable Value” because it refers to how much profit Ethereum miners can make by choosing the order and transactions that go into each block added to the chain.

Why It Matters: When Ethereum transitions to Proof-of-Stake, the MEV functions will be in the hands of the network’s validators. The MEV boost will enable validators to offer block space to other validators from the blocks they create.

This feature will likely be an important component of the network’s decentralization by distributing profits more evenly and lowering the risk of one party gaining too much of an advantage over others.

Last week, Ethereum successfully completed the Sepolia Merge, the second last testnet merge before the mainnet upgrade.

It is worth noting that, unlike the Sepolia Merge which moves the entire Ethereum blockchain onto a testnet environment, shadow forks are not full testnet hard forks.

Price Action: According to data from Benzinga Pro, at press time, ETH was trading at $1,197, gaining 7.65% over the last 24 hours.

Photo via Mica Stock on Shutterstock

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