On Friday (May 20), Ethereum Foundation co-founder Vitalik Buterin — who published the original Ethereum white paper (titled: “Ethereum White Paper: A next-generation smart contract and decentralized application platform”) in December 2013 — talked about Ethereum’s upcoming move to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.

Here is how Ethereum Foundation explains The Merge:

It’s important to remember that initially, the Beacon Chain shipped separately from Mainnet – the chain we use today. Ethereum Mainnet continues to be secured by proof-of-work, even while the Beacon Chain runs in parallel using proof-of-stake. The Merge is when these two systems finally come together.

Imagine Ethereum is a space ship that isn’t quite ready for an interstellar voyage. With the Beacon Chain the community has built a new engine and a hardened hull. When it’s time, the current ship will dock with this new system, merging into one ship, ready to put in some serious lightyears and take on the universe.

When ready, Ethereum Mainnet will ‘merge’ with the Beacon Chain, becoming its own shard which uses proof-of-stake instead of proof-of-work. Mainnet will bring the ability to run smart contracts into the proof-of-stake system, plus the full history and current state of Ethereum, to ensure that the transition is smooth for all ETH holders and users.

And this is what Vitalik said about The Merge last Friday (May 20) at the (virtual) ETH Shanghai Web 3.0 Developer Summit:

The biggest news in Ethereum this year, I think, is The Merge. So, The Merge is the switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. We have been working on switching to proof-of-stake almost since the Ethereum project began. And we’ve been working on proof-of-stake for about sevenyears now, but finally, all of that work is coming together. If everything goes well, then the likely plan is for the The Merge to happen in the summer.

I know Justin, a few days ago, suggested that August is a possible date for The Merge to happen. If there are no problems, then The Merge will happen in August. But of course, there’s always a risk of problems. There’s also risk of delays. And so, September is possible and October’s maybe possible as well, but The Merge is at this point working, like it’s very close to happening. So Ethereum will finally become a proof-of-stake network.

Vitalik was referring to Ethereum Foundation research Justin Drake’s comments at the Permissionless conference (which was held May 17-19, 2022 at Palm Beach, Florida).

Also, last Friday, Vitalik revealed that he is no longer a billionaire:

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