The Merge is Coming: What You Need to Know About Ethereum’s Biggest Upgrade
September is on the calendar, which means that the cryptocurrency community is already holding its breath in anticipation of the most significant update to the legendary Ethereum. Until now, the network has been functioning with the traditional Proof-of-Work algorithm, which is quite energy-consuming and expensive. It is planned that already in Q3/Q4 2022, the main network will completely switch to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm which will initiate the ETH 2.0 era. Let’s discuss the significance of this event, the details of the transition, and what ETH holders can expect.
ETH 2.0: what is the Merge?
In the context of the historical upgrade, we are talking about merging the main executive layer of Ethereum (The Mainnet) with the Beacon Chain, a separate blockchain that coordinates staking but does not deal with transaction processing or smart contract interaction.
The Beacon Chain was launched separately from the main network. It ran and still runs parallel to the Ethereum Mainnet using PoS. The Mainnet, with its balances, smart contracts, accounts, and the main network activity, is now still secured with Proof-of-Work. The Merge update will combine the main Ethereum network with the Beacon Chain and several side chains using sharding.
It will mean that the Ethereum Mainnet will completely abandon the Proof-of-Work algorithm and switch to a less energy-intensive and more eco-friendly Proof-of-Stake model.
How will the update affect WhiteBIT products?
We have already prepared for the Bellatrix upgrade, which will be held on September 6 (11:34:47 a.m. UTC). During the upgrade, we will close access to deposits and withdrawals of ETH and all ERC20 tokens. However, we do not plan to close access to trading of these assets. As soon as the update is successfully completed, we will open access to deposits and withdrawals.
The next step will be to prepare for the large-scale Paris upgrade, which will be launched after reaching the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) value of 58750000000000000000000. The estimated date is the period from the 10th till the 29th of September 2022. The exact date of reaching the TTD value depends on the Proof-of-Work hash rate. Shortly before the start of the update, we will close access to deposits and withdrawals of ETH tokens. We do not plan to close access to trading of these assets.
What can WhiteBIT users expect?
To prepare for the update, users of our exchange do not need to carry out any operations on their own. All Ethereum assets will be transferred to the new network with the same ticker, ETH.
No new coin will be created unless the network splits into two separate ones. If an Ethereum fork happens, the ETH ticker will belong to the Mainnet that will run on PoS.
WhiteBIT users should be wary of people offering to buy ETH2 tokens or transfer funds to complete the upgrade. WhiteBIT will never make requests to transfer funds in this manner.
More information about it will be published as soon as the date of upgrade is known. Stay tuned.