On the 24th of August, 2022, the protocol support team announced that Ethereum would be undergoing a Mainnet Merge. It is moving to proof- of- stake.
The Bellatrix upgrade is required to initially activate the transition, referred to as The Merge, on the Beacon Chain. After that, when a certain Total Difficulty value is reached, the proof-of-work chain will switch over to proof-of-stake.
Bellatrix Upgrade Scheduled
According to the announcement:
“The Bellatrix upgrade is scheduled for epoch 144896 on the Beacon Chain — 11:34:47am UTC on Sept 6, 2022.”
Furthermore, it was specified in the announcement that the value of the Terminal Total Difficulty required to trigger the merge is 58750000000000000000000, which is generally expected between the 10th and the 20th of September, 2022.
It is important to note that this merge is pursuant to an earlier announcement that was made of Kiln testnet being sunset. As a result of this, it is expected that operations will cease on the 6th of September, 2022.
Origin Of The Merge
The proof-of-stake upgrade for Ethereum has been under development for years. The Merge has been prepared for the Ethereum mainnet now that all public testnets have successfully undergone an upgrade.
The Merge differs from previous network upgrades in two ways. First, node operators should update not just one, but both of their clients at the execution layer (EL) and consensus layer (CL) simultaneously.
The upgrade also activates in two stages, the first of which is called Bellatrix and occurs at an epoch height on the Beacon Chain, and the second of which is called Paris and occurs when the execution layer reaches a total difficulty value.
New Bonuses In Store
It was announced that there would be multipliers for merge related bounties.
“All Merge-related bounties for vulnerabilities have received a 4x multiplier between now and the 8th of September. Critical bugs are now worth up to $1 million USD.”
The summary of it all is that Ethereum is ending its proof-of-work consensus protocol and would become a proof-of-stake network with the implementation of the Merge. This will make future scaling upgrades such as sharding a possibility.
The merge represents the joining of the existing Ethereum in use today with its extensively tested proof-of-stake system known as the Beacon Chain. It is instructive to note that the users do not need to take any action in the course of the merge. Funds kept in their wallets or exchanges will not be affected or compromised.
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