Ethereum’s journey to transition from PoW to PoS may come to an end in the next 26 days.
The Ethereum blockchain’s highly anticipated transition from the current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm to proof-of-stake (PoS) is nearing completion. The Merge progress is 96.66% complete, according to data from OKLink. The Ethereum network hash rate is now below the 900 TH/s mark, standing at approximately 882 TH/s at the time of writing this article. While this is a great breakthrough, it is still above the ideal level required to achieve the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) needed for a successful Merge.
The Merge Kicks Off on September 15, Ethereum Developers
Data on the Ethereum Merge Countdown by OKLink shows that the software upgrade is now 96.66% complete. The network’s hash rate stands at 882 TH/s. If the hash rate remains close to the ideal level of 879 TH/s, the Merge could possibly take place on September 15.
Ethereum (ETH) core developers confirmed the final date of the Merge during a meeting on Thursday, August 18. The developers corroborate that the final TTD for the mainnet to be 58750000000000000000000 and that the actual time the Ethereum Merge will go live is only 26 days away – September 15.
Shortly after the call, Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko, who runs core protocol meetings, tweeted about what was discussed by the developers. He clarified that this was more of a “procedural” engagement.
We wrapped up another @etherum #AllCoreDevs earlier, covering all things Merge as well as mev-boost and censorship resistance at the protocol level. This was a much less “procedural” call than usual, and touched on a lot of the “softer” governance questions around Ethereum,” said Tim Beiko in a tweet
Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum co-founder, had earlier affirmed that the exact date of the Merge depended on the hash rate. According to an August 12 tweet by Buterin, the TTD “has been set to 58750000000000000000000”, and around 872.2 TH/s is needed if this is to be achieved by September 15.
Ethereum’s Journey to PoS
Ethereum’s transition from PoW to PoS began on December 1, 2020, when the Beacon chain was launched. This initiated Phase 0 of the transition journey. Phase 1, sharding initiation, which was scheduled for mid-2021 was delayed until the first quarter of 2022. This delay was attributed to unfinished work and the complexities involved in auditing the code.
When the Sepolia testnet Beacon Chain went live in June this year, it set the stage for a key Merge test run aimed at giving Ethereum developers valuable technical insights. On July 7, Sepolia was finally merged with the network.
The final dress rehearsal of the Merge successfully occurred on the Goerli network on August 10. After Goerli went live, it paved the way for the official Merge of the Ethereum mainnet with the Beacon chain, which is now expected to take place on September 15. With the Merge, Ethereum will make the final intricate steps to the much-awaited PoS – a blockchain promising zero downtime.
How will the Merge Affect the Ethereum Network and ETH price?
Ethereum’s transition to PoS-based Ethereum 2.0 is expected to reduce the network’s energy consumption by approximately 99.95%. In addition, the introduction of sharding, in the first quarter of 2023, is expected to make the platform highly scalable and in line with centralized payment processes like Visa and MasterCard.
Moreover, with all the preparations for the Merge almost complete, ETH price may see a minor surge right before the merge. This may, however, be short-lived as users realize that there are no changes in gas fees, transaction speeds and ETH staking and withdrawals after the upgrade, as recently clarified by the Ethereum Foundation.
It is also important to note that the Merge will make Ethereum a deflationary asset, which may reduce its price.
A true rally can only be seen after Ethereum reclaims the $3,000 support level. Until then, ETH price may remain volatile, based on its technical outlook.