The long-awaited Merge of the Ethereum blockchain is just around the corner, and September 6 will be the day of the Bellatrix update on the Beacon Chain.
The Ethereum Merge is getting closer and closer
Today the Ethereum Foundation announced on its official blog the date when the Bellatrix update on the Beacon Chain will be activated.
Precisely, it is scheduled for epoch 144896 on the Beacon Chain, which should be reached at 11:34:47am UTC on September 6, 2022.
FUN FACT: #Ethereum's final upgrade before the merge to proof-of-stake is scheduled for September 6th.
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) August 25, 2022
Bellatrix is the update that will make the transition to Proof of Stake possible and represents a point of no return for the history of the Ethereum blockchain.
However, the official transition will take place between September 10 and September 20, and will be triggered when the total difficulty touches the value of 58750000000000000000000.
According to estimates, it could take place precisely on September 15, as already announced by Vitalik Buterin. All that remains is to wait and be patient to witness the most anticipated event of the year for the cryptocurrency community.
A necessary transition for the future of the Ethereum ecosystem: “The Merge”
After numerous postponements, due to problems encountered during testing, this time finally comes positive news that sets the spirits of lovers of the first-ever programmable blockchain on fire.
Born in 2014 from the mind of Vitalik Buterin, a promising Russian programmer, the Ethereum blockchain adopts a consensus algorithm based on Proof of Work (PoW), similar to that of Bitcoin.
This type of mechanism provides high security and decentralization, but places limits on the scalability of the project. In addition, it is not very convenient to operate on this type of network because of the high transaction fee costs.
An even more criticized factor, is that related to environmental pollution, due to the huge energy requirements required by the miners.
All this certainly did not reflect the ideals of the founder, who decided, therefore, to take a major action, perhaps the most ambitious in the history of cryptocurrency.
The benefits of moving to Proof of Stake
This is the merger of the Ethereum network with the new Beacon Chain, the operation of which, unlike the former, is based on Proof of Stake. This will, in effect, convert the entire ecosystem to one that is much more sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective.
The transition to PoS will reduce power usage by 99.95% and mark the end of PoW for Ethereum, or so it is hoped.
The good news is that the Merge will happen seamlessly. The bad, contrary to what everyone was hoping for, is that the update will not cause any reduction in gas fees.
It was stated in the Ethereum Foundation’s latest update, which specified:
“False. The Merge is a change of consensus mechanism, not an expansion of network capacity, and will not result in lower gas fees.”
Several possible future scenarios arise
Unfortunately, sometimes economic interests trump those for the good of humanity, especially when millions of dollars are at stake, as in this case.
Miners do not want to give up the investments made in machinery and the lavish rewards from mining activities.
Despite the announcement of the difficulty bomb, some are even considering forking the Ethereum blockchain to keep the Proof of Work alive.
Some are ready to speculate on this possible scenario. In this regard, the Bitfinex exchange has launched a new product, Chain Split Tokens (CSTs).
These tokens will allow gains on the potential success of the fork (ETHW), the successful outcome of the PoS transition (ETHS), or even both, for those who believe the two will coexist.
Others, however, such as the world’s largest mining pool, Ethermine, have decided to abandon ETH mining as a result of the Merge.