Proof-of-stake is becoming the norm for Ethereum! The Bellatrix upgrade is required to initially turn on the transition, referred to as The Merge, on the Beacon Chain. After that, when a certain Total Difficulty value is reached, the proof-of-work chain will switch to proof-of-stake. Here’s the full Ethereum proof-of-stake The Merge plan.
Ethereum’s proof-of-stake update has finally arrived, after years of hard labor! All public testnets have been successfully upgraded, and The Merge has been scheduled for the Ethereum mainnet.
In two ways, the Merge differs from prior network improvements. To begin, node operators must simultaneously upgrade both their consensus layer (CL) and execution layer (EL) clients, instead of just one of the two. Second, the upgrade occurs in two stages: the first, known as Bellatrix, occurs at an epoch height on the Beacon Chain, and the second, known as Paris, occurs when a Total Difficulty value on the execution layer is reached.
The Merge is a two-step operation. The first stage, Bellatrix, is a network upgrade on the consensus level initiated by an epoch height. This is proceeded by the shift of the execution layer from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, Paris, which is prompted by a certain Total Difficulty threshold known as the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD).
The Bellatrix update is scheduled for Beacon Chain epoch 144896 – 11:34:47am UTC on September 6, 2022.
The Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) of
58750000000000000000000, which is anticipated between September 10–20, 2022, will trigger Paris, the execution layer’s component of the transition, to occur. The proof-of-work hash rate determines the precise date at which TTD is accomplished. There are transition estimates available at bordel.wtf and 797.io/themerge.
A Beacon Chain validator will create the next block once the execution layer reaches or exceeds the TTD. Once the Beacon Chain has finalized this block, the Merge transition is said to be finished. This will occur 2 epochs (or roughly 13 minutes) after the first post-TTD block is generated in a typical network scenario!
When a new JSON-RPC block tag is finalized, it returns the most recently finalized block or an error if no such post-merge block exists. Applications can use this tag to determine whether or not The Merge has been accomplished. Likewise, smart contracts can check the DIFFICULTY opcode (0x44) (renamed PREVRANDAO after the merge) to see if The Merge has occurred. In addition to finalization status, we suggest infrastructure providers supervise overall network stability.
The Merge is supported on the Ethereum mainnet by the following client releases. To stay on the network during and after The Merge, node administrators must execute both an execution and a consensus layer client.
Validators should keep the dangers of operating a majority client on both the EL and CL in mind when deciding which client to run. You can get an explanation of these dangers and their effects here. Here is an estimate of the current EL and CL client distribution, as well as instructions for moving from one client to another.
Warning: geth version v1.10.22 includes a severe database issue; do not use this version, and kindly update to v1.10.23 as soon as possible if you’ve already upgraded.
The Merge’s consensus-critical modifications are specified in two locations:
- The consensus layer changes under the Bellatrix directory of the consensus-specs repository
- The execution layer changes under the Paris spec in the execution-specs repository
In addition to this, two further requirements govern how clients in the consensus and execution layers interact:
- The Engine API is defined in the execution-apis repository and is used to communicate between the consensus and execution levels.
- The consensus layer uses Optimistic Sync, which is specified in the sync folder of the consensus-specs repository, to import blocks as the execution layer client is synchronizing and to offer a partial picture of the head of the chain from the former to the latter.
Merge Bug Bounty Bonus
Between now and September 8th, the multiplier for any Merge-related vulnerability bounties is 4x. The value of critical bugs has increased to $1 million.
For additional information, view the bug bounty program.