Today at 1:34 PM, Bellatrix will be running, which is an upgrade for nodes on the Ethereum network. If this turns out to be a success, Ethereum will be all set to switch to proof of stake later this month.
Ethereum price rises today
The market looks set for Bellatrix today, as the Ethereum price rose. The value has increased by 3.5% and ether is trading at 1644 euros.
Three-quarters of Ethereum nodes ready for Bellatrix
Bellatrix will most likely run today at 1:34 PM Dutch time. A whopping 73.5% of the nodes on the Ethereum network are ready. This is what the website Ethernodes calls ‘The Merge ready client distribution.’
Are you running a node? Then all you need to do is update your Ethereum client (e.g. Geth, Besu, Nethermind or Erigon) to the latest version.
The Bellatrix upgrade is seen as one of the last necessary steps before the official transition. Ethereum will transition from proof of work (known from Bitcoin) to proof of stake sometime between September 10 and 20.
Miners redundant, but nodes remain important on Ethereum
Miners then become redundant and can do something else with their lives, but the role of nodes remains important.
An Ethereum node is nothing more than any computer running the software (client) needed to connect to the Ethereum network. Nodes connect with each other to send information back and forth to validate transactions and store data about the status of the blockchain.
To be ready for The Merge, the nodes on Ethereum must perform the Bellatrix upgrade by updating their clients. That has to be on the beacon chain before epoch 144896, in common people’s language that is 13:34 hours today.
Ethereum founder: important to upgrade
Time for a calculation: if three quarters of the nodes are ready, then a quarter is not ready. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and lead programmer Steve Beiko are asking the remaining nodes to download the latest software as soon as possible.
According to the Ethereum Foundation, nodes not performing the update prior to the Bellatrix upgrade will cause the Ethereum clients to “sync with the pre-fork blockchain”:
“Nodes are then stuck in an incompatible chain according to old rules and cannot send or process Ether on the post-Merge Ethereum network.”
Ethereum Merge is Mid-September
After the Bellatrix upgrade, Ethereum is ready for what they call Paris. This latest upgrade will be activated when the Terminal Total Difficulty reaches 587500000000000000000000, which is estimated to occur around September 15th.
Ethereum now actually runs on two blockchains, the old one that works with proof of work and the new one (Beacon) works with proof of stake. For the time being, blocks are produced on the old blockchain, which is logical because all transactions and activities take place there.
But after Paris is executed, the next block is produced by the Beacon chain. This marks the transition to proof of stake and the old blockchain will die a silent death, unless miners unexpectedly continue to produce blocks.
There are miners who plan to do that because hopefully they can make some money with this. But the old blockchain is essentially dead: all apps, defi, stablecoins, transactions, smart contract, games, etc. have then moved to the beacon chain.
According to the Ethereum Foundation, Ethereum users are not required to do anything with their cryptocurrencies during the merger, but are warning against scammers who claim otherwise.