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Ethereum Merge May Be Coming Sooner Than Expected

The merge is now expected to take place on September 15 or 16, according to a call today among Ethereum developers.

2 min read
Ethereum is preparing to shift to a proof-of-stake blockchain. Image: Shutterstock

Ethereum’s long-awaited upgrade—known as “the merge”—could happen sooner than expected, on September 15 or 16, according to a prominent member of the blockchain’s community. 

The upgrade, which will complete Ethereum’s move to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, was originally expected to take place on or around September 19. 

But Anthony Sassano, an independent “Ethereum educator,” who co-founded Ethereum research website EthHub, said on Twitter Thursday: “The Ethereum mainnet merge has been tentatively scheduled for around September 15th/16th.”

He added that the news came from a call with core Ethereum developers today. “The merge is coming,” he wrote. 

There are two steps left until Ethereum completes its upgrade: known as “Bellatrix” and “Paris.” During the call, developers said that “Bellatrix” will take place on September 6.

The final part of the upgrade, known as “Paris,” will happen when Ethereum’s hash rate (a measure of a network's computing power) reaches a certain level. That's currently expected to happen on September 15. 

But this could change in the coming days and weeks, since a network's hash rate is not constant and could increase or decrease over time.

Ethereum’s upgrade to ETH 2.0 means that instead of being a proof-of-work blockchain, Ethereum will be proof-of-stake. 

This will eliminate the need for miners. Validators will take their place and keep the network secure by locking up the network’s native crypto, ETH. 

This long-awaited and talked about change is expected to make the world’s leading smart-contract blockchain faster, more scalable, and much more energy efficient. At the Ethereum Community Conference in France in July, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said the network’s following upgrades will be ​​“great for decentralization” 

The change is also expected to have a deflationary impact on ETH, since staking will likely slow down the rate at which ETH's supply increases. And if supply growth slows while demand increases, that could prove beneficial for Ethereum investors. It should come as little surprise then, that as the upgrade approaches, the price of ETH has pumped: the asset was at the time of writing trading for $1,892.37, up 16.7% in the past week.

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