In the latest news as the Ethereum Merge draws nearer and nearer, the Bellatrix Upgrade has finally been implemented. Bellatrix which was just implemented a while ago on 6 September, 2022, after the scheduled epoch of 144896 on the Beacon Chain.
— parithosh | 🐼👉👈🐼 (@parithosh_j) September 6, 2022
But, what is Bellatrix Upgrade?
So with the Ethereum Merge less than two weeks away, let’s understand the steps that are involved leading up to the Merge event on the Ethereum mainnet. It is important because it marks the first-ever transition of a large-scale network from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and will drastically change issuance and operational specifics.
As Ethereum transitions from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism – Bellatrix hard fork is the last major upgrade that is set to take place before the actual Merge takes place.
So what we need to understand is that the Ethereum Merge is a two step process.
- The first step is the Bellatrix hard fork that was triggered by an epoch height (of 144896)
- The next step is the Paris upgrade which would be triggered by the TTD threshold
And this Bellatrix hard fork is the last upgrade the Ethereum Beacon Chain will undergo before the final ‘merge’ with the mainnet later this month. The purpose behind the Bellatrix upgrade is to enable validators to start producing updated Beacon Blocks, which will then contain the codebase for the merging of the two layers. Thus this step is imperative for all those prospective ETH validators who had staked their holdings to the ETH 2.0 deposit contract to upgrade their clients. Updating and syncing clients is critical to the upgrade.
Even Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted about this event:
The merge is still expected to happen around Sep 13-15. What's happening today is the Bellatrix hard fork, which *prepares* the chain for the merge. Still important though – make sure to update your clients!
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 6, 2022
73% of Ethereum nodes are ‘Merge-Ready’!
As reported earlier today, about 73.1% of Ethereum nodes appear to actually be ‘Merge Ready’, as of writing this article.
Now, with the Bellatrix successfully implemented, the final Ethereum Merge is scheduled to take place with the ‘Paris Upgrade’. It is the execution layer’s portion of the transition and will be triggered by the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) of 58750000000000000000000 which is expected to take place around 15 September, 2022.
Once this happens, the subsequent block will be produced by a validator on the PoS based Beacon Chain, and Ethereum will truly and fully have transitioned to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.