Ethereum Merge Review: What happens immediately after The Merge?



    Ethereum Merge Review: What happens immediately after The Merge?


    What Is The Merge?

    The Merge upgrade is Ethereum's long-awaited migration from its current "Proof-of-Work" system to a "Proof-of-Stake" system. The Merge will happen via a two-step process: Bellatrix followed by Paris. Bellatrix, which took place on Sept 6th 2022, is a network upgrade on the consensus layer. Paris will be the execution layer that will transition Ethereum from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Paris will be triggered by a specific Total Difficulty threshold, called the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD).


    What happens immediately after The Merge?

    Once complete, the already-running Beacon Chain will take over the process of validating new transactions through Proof-of-Stake and Ethereum's legacy Proof-of-Work model will be shelved permanently. To date, validators have already staked over 13 million ETH on the Beacon Chain. As the mainnet (the main network of the Ethereum blockchain) is merged with the Beacon Chain, the full transaction history of Ethereum, including every transaction, smart contract, and balance since July 2015, will also be merged.

    Why does The Merge matter?

    The Merge is six years in the making and is considered by many to be a milestone in the history of cryptocurrency due to the potential material and philosophical implications. This milestone could also bolster market confidence and inject some much-needed optimism, after months of market volatility due to, among other factors, inflation and rising interest rates. As one commentator put it, Ethereum's Merge "will prove that a decentralized and permissionless network can operate in an energy-efficient manner." In addition, a merge like this is an incredibly rare event in crypto, and may never happen again.

    When will The Merge happen?

    The Merge will be triggered once the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) threshold is reached. TTD is the total difficulty threshold required of the final block mined in Ethereum. In other words, TTD represents the fixed number of hashes that are left to mine until Proof-of-Stake officially takes over.

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