On Tuesday (August 30), the Ethereum ($ETH) price is seemingly surging towards the $1600 level and beyond with just one week to go until there is a hard fork (“Bellatrix” network upgrade) on the Beacon Chain (or “consensus layer”).
According to data by TradingView, on crypto exchange Bitstamp, currently (as of 8:46 a.m. UTC on August 30) ETH-USD is trading around $1589, up 9.67% in the past 24-hour period:
The Merge upgrade marks the Ethereum network’s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).
Here is how Ethereum Foundation explains The Merge:
“The Merge represents the joining of the existing execution layer of Ethereum (the Mainnet we use today) with its new proof-of-stake consensus layer, the Beacon Chain. It eliminates the need for energy-intensive mining and instead secures the network using staked ETH. A truly exciting step in realizing the Ethereum vision – more scalability, security, and sustainability.
“It’s important to remember that initially, the Beacon Chain shipped separately from Mainnet. Ethereum Mainnet – with all it’s accounts, balances, smart contracts, and blockchain state – continues to be secured by proof-of-work, even while the Beacon Chain runs in parallel using proof-of-stake. The approaching Merge is when these two systems finally come together, and proof-of-work is replaced permanently by proof-of-stake.
“Let’s consider an analogy. Imagine Ethereum is a spaceship that isn’t quite ready for an interstellar voyage. With the Beacon Chain, the community has built a new engine and a hardened hull. After significant testing, it’s almost time to hot-swap the new engine for the old mid-flight. This will merge the new, more efficient engine into the existing ship, ready to put in some serious lightyears and take on the universe.“
On August 24, Ethereum Foundation made an announcement on its blog regarding the date for the Merge.
Ethereum Foundation explained how the Merge differs from previous Ethereum protocol upgrades (or hard forks):
“The Merge is different from previous network upgrades in two ways. First, node operators need to update both their consensus layer (CL) and execution layer (EL) clients in tandem, rather than just one of the two. Second, the upgrade activates in two phases: the first, named Bellatrix, at an epoch height on the Beacon Chain, and the second, named Paris, upon hitting a
Total Difficulty value on the execution layer.“
The Merge “must first be activated on the Beacon Chain with the Bellatrix upgrade,” which is scheduled for epoch 144896 on the Beacon Chain, i.e. 11:34:47am UTC on 6 September 2022. Then, “the proof-of-work chain will migrate to proof-of-stake upon hitting a specific Total Difficulty value,” which is 58750000000000000000000, and expected to happen between September 10 and September 20.
Well, earlier today, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin reminded everyone that The Beacon Chain hard fork takes place next Tuesday:
Prominent crypto analyst Michaël van de Poppe has offered this technical analysis of $ETH’s latets price action:
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