The change in the Ethereum consensus mechanism, known as “The Merge”, is currently on everyone’s lips and is imminent. However, there is still some confusion about the exact date of the upgrade.
Because in the media, the date of September 15th was mostly circulating recently. The developers previously moved the starting signal forward from September 19th. On Twitter, some users recently speculated about a new one postponement of the merge to September 13th. Officially, the Ethereum Foundation blog states that the merge will take place between September 10th and 20th, which is still quite vague.
You should know that the date is not chosen arbitrarily by the developers. Rather, it depends on dynamic processes and parameters on the blockchain. In crypto space, the timekeeping is a little different. We clarify.
Next step: Bellatrix update
The actual Ethereum merge is not simply the day when a developer pulls a lever and makes the consensus switch to Proof of Stake. Rather, the merge is a two-stage process that takes place on the chains that currently still exist.
The first stage is the update “Bellatrix” on September 6th. In principle, it gives the go-ahead for the merge process and comes into effect from epoch 144.896. An epoch, in the blockchain realm, is the fixed time in which blocks are created and added to the chain. On the ETH 2.0 chain it is around 6.4 minutes.
Bellatrix starts on the Beacon Chain, i.e. the Proof of Stake Blockchain that already exists in the background. The successful implementation of Bellatrix is groundbreaking for the further course of the merge. If this step is done, the merge will take place with high probability.
The last block: Paris update
With the update entitled “Paris”, the current Ethereum version (execution layer) produces its last blocks. The two blockchains merge at the point at which a certain overall difficulty for block production is reached. This depends on the current hash rate of Ethereum and is therefore subject to fluctuations. The date for the final merge can therefore only be estimated.
The production of the new blocks is handed over with the last block of the old chain. With the completion of the first block on ETH 2.0, the merge is then successfully completed. Until this block creation is confirmed, the crypto community is likely to hold its breath for about 13 minutes.
If you don’t want to get involved in counting blocks, you can easily follow a countdown to the merge, for example from wenmerge.com. Based on the current parameters, the time of the merge is calculated as precisely as possible.
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