Ethereum’s ‘Bellatrix’ Upgrade Goes Live

The last hurdle before the Merge was surmounted at approximately 7:35 am ET

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key takeaways

  • Ethereum’s proof-of-stake Beacon Chain is now ready for the Merge
  • The Merge is currently expected around 9:00 pm ET on Sept. 14

The Bellatrix hard fork, the last major upgrade before Ethereum moves from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS), has been activated.

Currently, the Ethereum mainnet (the PoW chain) and the Beacon Chain (PoS chain) operate in parallel to one another and the purpose of this upgrade is to ensure validators are producing updated Beacon Chain blocks that will set up the codebase ahead of the Merge.

Although the upgrade doesn’t represent the entirety of the merge, it is the beginning of the two-part process.

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“What’s happening today is the Bellatrix hard fork, which *prepares* the chain for the merge,” Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, said in a Tweet.  “Still important though — make sure to update your clients!”

Around 5% of the Beacon Chain’s validating nodes failed to update in time, according to Adrian Sutton, lead blockchain protocol engineer at ConsenSys, but that has no major effect on the network and is likely to be quickly remedied.

Once the terminal total difficulty (TTD) is reached, mining on Ethereum will end completely, and ‘the Merge’ will take place — known as the Paris upgrade.

Technically that is scheduled, not at a fixed time, but after a TTD of 58750000000000000000000 is reached and the first PoS block is created on the Ethereum blockchain — this process will roughly take around 13 minutes, assuming that there are no roadblocks or errors. From that point on, the Paris Upgrade will be in effect.

The Bellatrix hard fork will be crucial in setting the tone on how The Merge will unfold. If all goes smoothly, based on the current Ethereum network hashrate, The Merge is expected to occur shortly after 9:00 pm ET on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

The price of ether is up 7.2% over the past 24 hours, according to data compiled by Blockworks, outpacing bitcoin by about 6%.


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