The Final Countdown to the Ethereum Merge Has Officially Begun

The activation of the Bellatrix upgrade on the Ethereum blockchain triggers the beginning of the Merge, which will likely be completed sometime around Sept. 13-16.

AccessTimeIconSep 6, 2022 at 11:41 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2022 at 4:17 p.m. UTC

Margaux Nijkerk reports on blockchain protocols with a focus on the Ethereum ecosystem. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a very small amount of ETH and other altcoins.

The Ethereum blockchain’s Merge is officially underway and will likely kick in sometime between Sept. 13-16. The Bellatrix upgrade – the network's final "hard fork" before the Merge – was activated on Tuesday, marking the beginning of Ethereum’s long-awaited transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).

  • The Bellatrix upgrade prepares Ethereum's PoS Beacon Chain – also called its Consensus layer – for a Merge with Ethereum's mainnet Execution layer.
  • The Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) value triggering the Merge has been set at 58,750,000,000,000,000,000,000. This number, which will represent the cumulative difficulty of all mined Ethereum blocks, is expected to be reached somewhere between Sept. 13-16. Predictions right now are that it will happen around Sept. 15.
  • When the TTD number is reached, the network will merge its Execution layer with the new PoS Consensus layer, allowing the chain to continue on with a new system for issuing and authenticating blocks of transactions.
  • According to the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization funding Ethereum ecosystem development, the Merge will cut the network's energy usage by 99.95% and set the stage for further improvements to its core infrastructure.
  • At the point of the Merge, the difficulty level on Ethereum's PoW network will increase to the point where mining new blocks will no longer be possible.
  • The Merge has been a long time coming, and the Beacon Chain was first introduced in December 2020.
  • Last month, Ethereum merged its Goerli test network (testnet) from PoW to PoS – marking the third and final dress rehearsal for a mainnet Merge.
  • The completion of the Merge will mark the end of Ethereum’s energy-intensive proof-of-work chapter. The next steps on Ethereum's roadmap involve improving fees and transaction speeds via sharding and rollups.
  • The price of ether (ETH) was recently $1,665, up 6.24% over the past 24 hours.
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Approaching the Merge (ethereum.org)

Update (15:00 UTC): Adds information throughout.

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Margaux Nijkerk reports on blockchain protocols with a focus on the Ethereum ecosystem. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a very small amount of ETH and other altcoins.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Margaux Nijkerk reports on blockchain protocols with a focus on the Ethereum ecosystem. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a very small amount of ETH and other altcoins.