RSK and the Ethereum Merge
“The Merge” is an upgrade to the Ethereum network that transitions from the existing Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism. As an EVM-compatible chain, this transition affects the RSK network. Most notably, the RSK-ETH token bridge.
The RSK-ETH token Bridge allows users to easily move ERC20 tokens between the Ethereum and RSK networks. The exchange of tokens works through a bridge smart contract on each network. The bridge contract receives and locks the ERC20 tokens on one chain and then creates an ‘event’ that is sent to the bridge contract on the other chain.
How does The Merge affect the RSK-ETH token bridge?
The Merge is Ethereum’s transition from PoW to PoS; however, post-merge, the ‘old’ PoW chain still exists in some form. It is up to the node operators to update their clients to support the new PoS chain.
At the time of writing, all nodes RSK-ETH bridge have been updated and configured to support the new PoS chain. The main difference post-merge is that the client used to run some of the nodes can no longer run a full ETH node on its own. However, by coupling such clients with “consensus client” software, the nodes were able to remain fully functional, and the transition was smoothly executed, with the bridge now fully operational for users.
Are my tokens stuck on the other chain if I bridged them before the Merge?
No, all tokens bridged from Ethereum to RSK and vice versa can be bridged back and forth between chains in the same way they were before. The only difference is now, when bridging from RSK to Ethereum the tokens you receive will be running on the new PoS chain!
The RSK network as a whole is mostly unaffected by Ethereum’s Merge. The only notable issue to address was the new configurations to the client nodes for the RSK-ETH bridge — all of which have been successfully implemented with minimal downtime. The same functionalities for the bridge have been retained, and users should see no difference in overall usability!