Ethereum’s transition from a proof of work to a proof of stake consensus network is almost here. According to an announcement by the Ethereum Foundation, the upgrade of all public testnets is now complete setting up The Merge ready for Ethereum’s mainnet.
The transition will involve a two-step process. The first will be a network upgrade called Bellatrix on the consensus layer, which is estimated to be triggered at an epoch height of 144896 on the Beacon Chain come September 6th 2022. This will be followed by the transition of the execution layer from proof of work to proof of stake after the terminal total difficulty (TTD) of 58750000000000000000000 is triggered between September 10th and 20th, 2022.
“Once the execution layer reaches or exceeds the TTD, the subsequent block will be produced by a Beacon Chain validator. The Merge transition is considered complete once the Beacon Chain finalizes this block.” The announcement read.
The foundation further urged node operators to run their consensus layers (CL) and execution layer (EL) clients to avoid being left out during and after the merge. Post merge, the consensus layer (CL) client, which runs the Beacon Chain will combine with the execution layer (EL) client, which manages the user-state and runs the computations associated with transactions to execute functions under the new network effectively.
Although no significant glitches are expected in the lead-up to the merge, the Ethereum Foundation also raised its merge bug bounty bonus by a multiplier of 4x up to the 8th of September, placing the reward of discovering critical bugs at $1 million.
Ether holders were also urged to stay calm ahead of the merge with the foundation stating that those holding ether on an exchange or in self-custody wallets did not have to do anything. Validators who earlier staked their ether on the beacon chain will have to wait as “withdrawals from the Beacon Chain will likely be introduced in the first upgrade after The Merge.”
That said, with The Merge being the most complex upgrade to Ethereum to date, investors have been cautiously approaching the event. According to data from bit-info-charts, the number of daily transactions on Ethereum has slumped sharply since September 26th. Ether’s price has also continued to slide, indicating that investors are likely waiting for a “buy the rumour, sell the news” moment. Nevertheless, most investors believe that The Merge could provide a boon to the crypto market.
As of writing, Ethereum was trading at $1,451 after a 2.87% drop in the past 24 hours and over 9% in the past week, according to data from CoinMarketCap.