One of the biggest crypto assets today, by market cap, i.e. Ethereum is almost at the verge of completing its 2 year long process of The Merge. With this step, the Ethereum Blockchain will be transitioning itself from the Proof of Work consensus mechanism to the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism.
The Ethereum (ETH) blockchain is all set for the Bellatrix upgrade which is set to take place approximately around 5 pm IST today; 6 September 2022. Once the Ethereum Epoch value is expected to reach 144,896 on the Proof of Stake chain; the Bellatrix upgrade will take its course.
One epoch is the time it takes to mine 30,000 blocks. The value of this has been estimated by the Ethereum Foundation in one of their blogs.
This next step in the ongoing Ethereum Merge; i.e. Bellatrix upgrade; is essential for it to successfully take place. Currently, the Ethereum node is represented on two layers; the PoW layer and the Consensus layer or the C-layer. Both of these layers communicate via an Application Programming Interface (API) engine. Once the Proof of Stake layer is hit by the Bellatrix Upgrade, the validators will start producing the updated Beacon Blocks, that will contain the code for merging the two layers. Once the process gets started and the required terminal total difficulty (TTD) is reached, it will mark the end of mining on the Ethereum, and start the process of ‘the Merge’.
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
Following the completion of the Bellatrix Upgrade, the Ethereum Merge will start its Paris Upgrade. Once the Paris Upgrade is done; it will mark the completion of ‘the Merge’. This will be part of the first Proof of Stake block to be ever created on the Ethereum Blockchain. The last step remaining for the completion of The Merge; Paris Upgrade will be activated when once a certain level of TTD is reached. As a result, when the Proof of Work chain reaches a particular amount of TTD, the Proof of Work clients will stop processing the chain, while the Proof of Work chain will halt.
According to the news from Outlook; the execution layer; which is the current layer; will then enter the picture on the Proof of Stake side, producing the block on top of the terminal Proof of Work block, which is the first proof-of-stake block. So, the Paris Upgrade will be activated on the first proof-of-stake block on the Ethereum Network.
|LONDON HARD FORK||5 AUGUST, 2021|
|ALTAIR UPGRADE||21 OCTOBER, 2021|
|ARROW GLACIER||9 DECEMBER, 2021|
|KILN TESTNET MERGE||16 MARCH, 2022|
|MAINNET SHADOW FORKS||12 APRIL, 2022|
|SEPOLIA TESTNET MERGE||6 JULY, 2022|
|TENTH MAINNET SHADOW FORK||27 JULY, 2022|
|GOERLI TESTNET MERGE||11 AUGUST, 2022|
|SEPOLIA TESTNET UPDATE||22 AUGUST, 2022|
|BELLATRIX UPDATE||6 SEPTEMBER, 2022|
|FINAL ETHEREUM MAINNET MERGE (TENTATIVE)||10-20 SEPTEMBER, 2022|
Additional Read: How Ethereum Proof of Stake will work after the Merge Upgrade
Ethereum is the second largest blockchain network in the world, by market capitalization and is slated to undergo a massive network upgrade between 10-20 September 2022. As mentioned earlier, this upgrade will completely transition Ethereum from a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
Thus, this is one of the most significant developments in the crypto world, probably since the inception of crypto itself. The Ethereum Merge will merge the Ethereum Mainnet with the Beacon Chain, making the blockchain greener, more efficient, and much more appealing to investors.