Ethereum’s community have released the final pre-Merge clients in preparation for proof-of-stake.
The Ethereum Foundation has announced that the Merge will begin on September 6th. First, the Bellatrix upgrade will be activated on September 6th, which will kick-start the rest of the Merge process, which is expected to be completed by September 20th.
In recent weeks, Ethereum has successfully merged both the Ropston and Goerli testnets, as well as 11 “shadow forks” – the most recent occurring last week ahead of a meeting of the core developers.
Ethereum is switching from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake in the Merge – two different methods of validating transactions. Compared to the current proof-of-work method, the new proof-of-stake method will use over 99% less energy.
Following this major update, controversy and questions arise regarding what will happen to the deprecated proof-of-work network after the merge.
Although the “Ice Age” is supposed to freeze out PoW miners with its “difficulty bomb,” there is a growing movement to maintain Ethereum’s old consensus mechanism.
In a blog post, Coinbase said it will consider listing forked proof-of-work versions of Ethereum after the merge.
To determine when the Merge will take place, the PoW mainnet uses a term – Terminal Total Difficulty – instead of a fixed time. It is estimated that the consummation of these parallel chains — known as the Paris upgrade — will happen shortly after 1:00 am ET on September 15.
Ethereum’s $200 billion market cap depends on a smooth launch. There is no doubt that the Merge is one of the biggest events in the crypto world to date. As well as allowing new features on the Ethereum blockchain, it also represents a test of the community’s coherence and commitment. It will be a sign of confidence in Ethereum if it survives and thrives after the Merge.
In order to validate and process Ethereum smart contracts and transactions after the merge, two Ethereum clients will be required: the staking/consensus layer client and the execution layer client, for example Geth. Despite the merge, stakers will not be able to withdraw their staked Ethereum back into the execution layer, this “second merge” could take another six to twelve months.
No matter how you hold Ether, whether on an exchange or in a self-contained wallet, nothing needs to be done. It is important to verify an application’s, exchange’s or wallet’s offers additional instructions or recommendations. Beware of scams!