We Finally Have A Date Set For Ethereum's Merge

By Lucas Malizia, DeFi Analyst at Finanflix

But, first of all, what is the merge? It’s the fusion of the Beacon Chain and the Consensus Layer in order to form Ethereum’s ETH/USD next chapter. In very few words, it’s the switching of consensus protocols from today’s proof of work into Proof of stake. 

The transition journey started on December 1st of 2020 with the launch of Beacon Chain, which kickstarted Phase 0.

Phase 1 was projected for mid-2021, but ended up being delayed into the first trimester of 2022 due to the difficulty in auditing the new code. This brought a sort of “summer” or temporal relief to GPU miners, as they were given an extra window to generate income or, at the very least, break even. 

The beginning of June 2022 marked the launch of Sepolia, a testnet exclusive to the Beacon Chain meant to prepare the ground for the merge. To put it more clearly, it would be a sort of first test in order to see what issues developers would be faced with so that could help be prepared for any eventualities. Finally, Sepolia merged on July 7th without any major issues. 

Now comes the Goerli network as a final test, scheduled for the second week of August this year. If everything goes according to plan we could expect Ethereum’s final Merge to happen on the second week of September, more specifically on the 19th, by suggestion of developer Tim Beiko. 

Tim is one of the most active developers on social and one of those who cared the most about the future of GPU miners. He advised early to “stop purchasing GPU or ETH miners”.

The date came up during community call #91 where Tim proposed it to no objections. There should be noted that it’s an estimated date and not one set in stone, since any major issues that come up during testing could further delay the merge. We can take this as guidelines and not as a fixed roadmap.

It’s expected that after the merge Ethereum will become more efficient, but at first this will only be true when it comes to its energy consumption, which could be diminished as much as 99% when comparing to current values.

During first stages Ethereum’s final users won’t see any new advantages: Tx will remain at the same price, the network will continue to be congested and so on.

In order for Ethereum to really change more steps need to be completed, after the merge and the upcoming update called Shanghái which will bring the possibility to withdraw staked ETH, we’ll have to wait for the implementation of shards and zero knowledge rollups. 

The latter are still in development phase as priority was given to the switch in consensus protocols over scalability, since various Layer 2 blockchains already help with this. 

Although having a tentative date helps put us into perspective, meaning in which stage of the update we are, we still have a long way to go in order for Ethereum to solve all of its current problems.  

Will they get to complete their roadmap? Maybe another project will emerge in between with everything figured out. What will be the future of the blockchain with the biggest TVL of the DeFi market? 

Investors, developers and fans of the crypto ecosystem are asking all of these questions and more.

Lets hope we get some answers soon. 

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Posted In: CryptocurrencyMarketsBeacon ChaincontributorsCryptoDeFiETH Merge
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