The upcoming Ethereum merge is the most awaited moment in all of crypto history; it represents years of painstaking research and will finally be revealed soon.
After several tests, the successful upgrade of all public testnets is now complete, and The Merge has been scheduled for the Ethereum mainnet.
Here are some final updates before the merge goes public;
The merge; a quick overview:
The Merge is the process through which the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus method is adopted by the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. This change was anticipated back in 2014 when the blockchain was first introduced. According to the Ethereum Foundation, PoS is energy-efficient, and the Merge will immediately reduce 99 percent of Ethereum's carbon emissions.
Due to its low energy consumption, ETH will now be a viable contender for institutional investors like Tesla, who have shunned Bitcoin (BTC) due to those concerns. Additionally, it will affect ETH's token economy. The Merge will decrease annual ETH issuance by a net 90%.
As a result, investors will benefit as ETH's supply eventually stabilizes or even declines, becoming deflationary. Once the merge is successful, all retail investors can also stake their ETH for passive returns. (1)
The timing of the merge
The merge has gone through countless updates and upgrades. Below are the major updates in the merge since August 2021, all the way to the latest update released on September 6th. (2)
5 AUGUST, 2021
The LONDON HARD FORK
Following the creation of the Beacon Chain, the Ethereum London Hard Fork had a significant role in determining how miners interact with and profit from Ethereum through various updates, including EIP-1559.
The "difficulty bomb," which will make it unprofitable to mine since it will compel the proof-of-work consensus to cease producing blocks, is another significant change in the financial incentives for miners, along with a fall in fees. By including EIP-3554, the time bomb was postponed until December 2021. However, the Arrow Glacier network upgrade later caused this to be delayed.
21 OCTOBER, 2021
The Altair upgrade, the first planned development stage for the Beacon Chain, was a backend upgrade that needed node operators to upgrade their clients. Nodes that didn't update ran the danger of losing their ability to participate in the network after the Merge and might have to pay fines.
9 DECEMBER, 2021
The upcoming "difficulty bomb" for Ethereum was supposed to occur on a date pushed back by the Arrow Glacier network update. The upgrade simply made this modification.
16 MARCH, 2022
KILN TESTNET MERGE
The Klin testnet merge saw the proof-of-work execution layer combined with a proof-of-stake Beacon Chain, a crucial development for Ethereum. With a few minor glitches here and there, the merge was essentially successful after this upgrade.
12 APRIL, 2022
MAINNET SHADOW FORKS
A shadow fork is essentially a mainnet merge test run. This is accomplished by mimicking a switch from PoW to PoS by performing the Merge on a very small number of network nodes.
Mainnet shadow forks examine how the Merge would function under the most realistic circumstances possible, simulating the Merge on Ethereum's busy primary network.
6 JULY, 2022
SEPOLIA TESTNET MERGE
The second significant testnet to implement the eagerly anticipated Merge upgrade was Ethereum's public testnet, Sepolia. This moved the entire protocol closer to switching from proof-of-work (P0W) to proof-of-stake as its consensus mechanism (P0S).
The upgrade included "merging" the Beacon Chain's PoS-based network with the current Sepolia PoW chain. The PoW Ropsten testnet for the Ethereum blockchain is anticipated to be replaced by Sepolia.
27 JULY, 2022
TENTH MAINNET SHADOW FORK
Nearly 26 hours before the scheduled time, the ninth mainnet shadow fork was executed. This is still a part of the ongoing efforts on the Ethereum network's back end to filter out any issues before the new PoS chain—whose proposed implementation date has been scheduled for September 19—replaces the PoW consensus on the mainnet.
This is essentially a group effort on Ethereum, which has been going through several tests, or shadow forks, that copy data from the main network to a test environment network, also known as a testnet.
6 SEPTEMBER, 2022
BELLATRIX UPDATE (latest)
The Ethereum Merge, a system-wide change that will begin on September 6, 2022, has been finalized, according to the most recent updates from the Ethereum Foundation.
The Bellatrix update, also known as the first phase in the changeover, will go into effect on this date. This will eventually trigger the rest of the Ethereum Merge process, with a tentative completion date between September 10 and 20, 2022. (3)
When will the merge finally be completed?
There are two steps to The Merge. The initial phase is an epoch height-driven network upgrade called Bellatrix on the consensus layer. Then, the execution layer switches to proof-of-stake, or Paris, which is prompted by a particular Total Difficulty threshold known as the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD). (4)
On September 6, the Bellatrix upgrade will affect the Beacon Chain. This upgrade launched the remaining steps in the merge process.
The Beacon Chain epoch 144896, when the activation is expected to occur, is set for 11:34:47 UTC.
After that, the figure of the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) that causes the Merge to occur is 58,750,000,000,000,000,000. The TTD is anticipated to be attained between September 10 and September 20. In previous calls, the Ethereum developers have mentioned that they are aiming for September 15–16.
The network will combine its execution layer with the new consensus layer when TTD hits 58,750,000,000,000,000,000,000 and switch to the new proof-of-stake consensus protocol. (5)
The merge is the product of years of testing and dozens of upgrades. If executed to perfection, it will revolutionize crypto mining forever.