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Ethereum Foundation confirms start date for ‘merge’ transition

August 24, 2022, 8:41 PM UTC
Illustration by Fortune

“Wen merge,” you ask? The Ethereum Foundation says, “Very 🔜.”

In a blog post published Wednesday, the Ethereum protocol support team officially disclosed the details surrounding the “merge” timeline.

The merge will shift Ethereum from a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to proof of stake by ultimately merging the Ethereum mainnet, the main public network used by everyone, with the Beacon Chain, the Ethereum proof-of-stake chain. Currently, both the mainnet and Beacon Chain exist in parallel, but only the mainnet processes transactions. Post-merge, Ethereum will be fully proof of stake.

Because of its intricacies, the process of the merge won’t happen overnight.

According to the blog, the first step is the Bellatrix upgrade, which is scheduled to go live on the Beacon Chain on Sept. 6 and which will set things into motion. 

Next, the Paris upgrade will shift mainnet to proof of stake after a final terminal total difficulty (TTD) value is hit. TTD represents the total mining difficulty level on the network.

The TTD value that will prompt the merge is 58750000000000000000000, which is expected to be reached Sept. 10–20.

Once this happens, the “subsequent block will be produced by a Beacon Chain validator,” the blog reads. “The merge transition is considered complete once the Beacon Chain finalizes this block. Under normal network conditions, this will happen two epochs (about 13 minutes) after the first post-TTD block is produced.”

Recently, Ethereum developers predicted that there will be a 14-day period between Bellatrix and the mainnet merge. Currently, it’s predicted the merge will happen Sept. 15.

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