Ethereum (ETH) is all set for the Bellatrix upgrade which will occur approximately around 5 pm IST today, when the Ethereum Epoch value is expected to reach 144,896 on the proof-of-stake chain. One epoch is the time it takes to mine 30,000 blocks. The value has been estimated by the Ethereum Foundation in a blog.
The Bellatrix upgrade is essential for ‘the Merge’ to successfully take place. It is the final upgrade before the Paris Upgrade, which will take place after ‘the Merge’, and consolidate the proof-of-stake chain with the existing execution layer (current proof-of-work). The Paris Upgrade will mark the end of mining on the Ethereum Blockchain and will mark the transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake validation system.
FTX announced on September 4, 2022 that they will suspend the trading of ETH and ERC-20 tokens, which create smart contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain, approximately half an hour before the Bellatrix consensus layer upgrade. This is to make sure that nothing goes wrong with the upgrade process, or that users’ tokens are not lost as the upgrade occurs.
At present, each Ethereum node is represented on two Ethereum layers, the consensus layer (‘C layer’) and the ‘proof-of-work layer’; the proof-of-work layer is the main network, at present. These two layers are in the process of being combined by ‘the Merge’, for swiftly switching from a mining system to a validating system, where the validators will get rewarded for staked ETH.
These two layers communicate via an Application Programming Interface (API) engine. When the proof-of-stake layer is hit by the Bellatrix Upgrade, the validators will start producing the updated Beacon Blocks, which will contain the code for merging the two layers.
When the required terminal total difficulty (TTD) is reached, it will mark the end of mining on the Ethereum, and start the process of ‘the Merge’.
The Paris Upgrade will mark the completion of ‘the Merge’; it will be part of the first proof-of-stake block to be ever created on the Ethereum Blockchain.
The Paris Upgrade will be activated when a certain level of TTD is reached. As a result, when the proof-of-work chain reaches a particular amount of TTD, the proof-of-work clients will stop processing the chain, and the proof-of-work chain will halt.
The execution layer (current) will then enter the picture on the proof-of-stake side, producing the block on top of the terminal proof-of-work block, which is the first proof-of-stake block. So, the Paris Upgrade will be activated on the first proof-of-stake block on the Ethereum Network.
When Will ‘The Merge’ Finally Happen?
The time of the Paris Upgrade is not fixed, but variable, because it will trigger at a certain TTD, and the TTD is determined by the hash power functions in the network. Hash power is the total hardware power used to process transactions on a Blockchain, while solving hashing algorithms. So, the final transition to the proof-of-stake will be determined by total hash power. If it increases, ‘the Merge’ will happen before September 15, and if the total hash power decreases (though it is highly unlikely), it can delay ‘the Merge’. As of 4 pm on September 5, 2022, Ethereum’s hash rate is 960.48 Th/s, it noted a 2.64 per cent rise in the last 24 hours.