The Final Countdown to the Ethereum Merge Has Officially Begun
Ethereum’s Merge is officially underway and will likely kick in sometime between Sept. 13-16. The Bellatrix upgrade was activated today which marks the beginning of the transition of Ethereum’s proof-of-work (PoW) chain to the proof-of-stake (PoS) Beacon Chain.
- The activation was scheduled for epoch 144896 and occurred at around 11:35 UTC.
- After this, the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) value triggering the Merge will be at 58,750,000,000,000,000,000,000, expected to happen somewhere between Sept. 10-20. Predictions right now are that it will happen around Sept. 15.
- When TTD reaches 58,750,000,000,000,000,000,000, the network will merge its Execution layer with the new Consensus layer, and the chain will continue on, using the PoS consensus mechanism.
- During this period, the difficulty level will increase to the point where PoW mining on Ethereum will no longer be possible.
- The Merge has been a long time coming, with the Beacon Chain first introduced in December 2020.
- Last month, Ethereum ran its third testnet, Goerli, which was the final dress rehearsal for the mainnet Merge.
- The completion of the Merge will mark the end of Ethereum’s energy-intensive proof-of-work chapter. The next steps for Ethereum will be to address scalability issues with sharding and rollups.
- The price of ether (ETH) is $1,665, up 6.24% over the past 24 hours.
Read more: Ethereum After the Merge: What Comes Next?