Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, surged 6 % in the last 24 hours and is now trading at $1,660.

This makes Ethereum the best performing asset in the market’s top ten, data from CoinMarketCap shows.

The latest price action comes ahead of the update to Ethereum’s consensus layer, called Bellatrix. Slated for later today, Bellatrix kicks off the merge event—the network's eagerly-awaited transition from the power-hungry proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm to a more environmentally friendly proof-of-stake (PoS) system.


As the Ethereum Foundation explained in a blog post last month, the merge is a two-step process: it must first be activated on the Beacon Chain—the network’s PoS chain that is running in parallel with the current PoW network—with the Bellatrix upgrade on the consensus layer triggered by an epoch height.

Bellatrix, in turn, will be followed by the Paris upgrade—the execution layer's transition from PoW to PoS triggered by a specific threshold called the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD).

The consensus layer is responsible for maintaining the consensus of the Ethereum blockchain and serves as the backend infrastructure for blockchain, hosting and verifying the efficacy of validators, while the execution layer is where smart contracts and network rules reside.

The TTD value triggering the Merge is set at 58750000000000000000000 and is expected to happen between September 10 and September 20, 2022, depending on Ethereum’s hash rate or the amount of computing power deployed to secure the network. The greater the hash rate, the sooner the network will hit the TDD required to trigger the merge.


“Once the execution layer reaches or exceeds the TTD, the subsequent block will be produced by a Beacon Chain validator,” the Ethereum Foundation wrote. “The Merge transition is considered complete once the Beacon Chain finalizes this block. Under normal network conditions, this will happen 2 epochs (or ~13 minutes) after the first post-TTD block is produced.”

Last call to update Ethereum clients

The Bellatrix upgrade is essentially the last chance for the node operators to upgrade their clients before the Merge.

However, as over 27% of the network’s nodes have yet to upgrade, per Ethernodes, both Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and core developer Tim Beiko took to Twitter to remind the node operators of that requirement.

“The merge is still expected to happen around Sep 13-15. What's happening today is the Bellatrix hard fork, which prepares the chain for the merge. Still important though - make sure to update your clients!” wrote Buterin earlier on Tuesday.

“Last chance to upgrade your node if you haven’t yet!” reminded Beiko on Monday.

As the Ethereum Foundation previously warned, node operators using an outdated Ethereum client will have their clients “sync to the pre-fork blockchain once the upgrade occurs.”

“You will be stuck on an incompatible chain following the old rules and will be unable to send Ether or operate on the post-merge Ethereum network,” said the organization.


As for the regular network participants that use Ethereum applications, holding ETH on an exchange or in a self-custodied wallet, there’s no need for them to do anything during the Merge.

However, as the Ethereum Foundation warned, they should be on alert about possible scams and verify whether additional instructions or recommendations that applications, exchanges or wallets may send to users are true.

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