Ethereum Successfully Activates Bellatrix Upgrade Ahead of Merge

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Blockchain
Ethereum Successfully Activates Bellatrix Upgrade Ahead of Merge

Ethereum, the second-largest blockchain by market cap, is about to undergo the biggest transformation to its network known as “the Merge.” The Ethereum team successfully conducted its final upgrade on the Merge known as the ‘Bellatrix Upgrade,’ on September 6, 2022, at exactly 11:34 am UTC.

Bellatrix Goes Live on Beacon Chain

Today, the Bellatrix upgrade went live on the Beacon Chain or the network’s proof-of-stake chain. The Bellatrix update is significant because it gets the Beacon Chain ready for the merging and represents the essential starting point that sets the entire process in action, even if it doesn’t reflect the full merge and the proof-of-stake changeover itself.

In the end, the merge will take Ethereum from the familiar proof-of-work mechanism to a proof-of-stake consensus system and significantly lessen its environmental effect. Currently, the Beacon Chain and the Ethereum mainnet, or the public, proof-of-work chain used by everyone are both working together, but for now, only the mainnet completes transactions. After the merge, Ethereum will be entirely proof-of-stake.

To finalize the merge, the second phase following Bellatrix, known as the Paris upgrade, will switch the Ethereum mainnet to proof of stake after a satisfactory Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) value is attained. TTD is the total mining difficulty level on the Ethereum network. The TTD value needed to prompt the merge is 58750000000000000000000, which is expected to be reached between Sept. 10-20.

When the needed TTD value is reached, the subsequent block will be produced by a Beacon Chain validator. The Ethereum Foundation said in the merge announcement dated August 24, 2022, that,

“The merge transition is considered complete once the Beacon Chain finalizes this block. Under normal network conditions, this will happen two epochs (about 13 minutes) after the first post-TTD block is produced.”

Merge Expected by September 15

Due to past experiences with a series of postponements, there have been growing concerns if the Merge would be completed on the proposed dates, Vitalik Buterin moved to allay those fears in a tweet saying the Merge is “still expected to happen around Sep 13-15.” He went further to remind Ethereum node operators to “make sure to update” their clients.

Before the Bellatrix upgrade, the majority of the node operators appeared to have updated their clients in time, with just less than 10 percent not updated. All the Ethereum clients need to be updated properly as the clients, nodes and their Ethereum software would be unable to operate post-merge.

Ethereum devs will closely monitor Bellatrix’s development in the hopes of a seamless transition. The merge will probably take place as expected in the middle of September if all goes according to plan and Bellatrix performs as expected. As of right now, Ethereum core devs are confident that all went as planned.

Several crypto platforms have pledged their support to the Ethereum network on the successful completion of the Merge. Earlier in August, crypto stablecoin Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) issuers promised to support Ethereum’s shift from proof-of-work (PoW) to the PoS Ethereum and crypto’s biggest exchange Binance, announced on August 26, 2022, that it would credit users’ accounts with tokens from any forked versions of Ethereum formed during the network’s merging event in September. Ethereum’s native ETH token is trading at around $1,662.

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Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel

Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel is a graduate of Mass Communication and Media Studies. He joined the blockchain movement in 2016 when a friend of his introduced him to an investment platform accepting bitcoin. He has never looked back since then. Emmanuel believes the world needs real change and freedom from poverty. He sees crypto and the underlying distributed ledger technology as the catalyst to a better future for all.