– Ethereum devs said there would be two precedent upgrades to usher in the mainnet merge. – Afterward, all new blocks will be produced by beacon chain validators. – The largest Ethereum client, Geth, fixed a bug that could have ruined validators’ experience on the beacon chain.
Ethereum’s protocol support team has shared the latest roadmap for the long-awaited mainnet merge to the proof-of-stake beacon chain. Although the terminal total difficulty (TTD) and the estimated date for the merge haven’t been changed, the team said the event would be different from previous updates to the Ethereum blockchain.
Unlike previous network updates that require node operators to update either their consensus layer or execution layer like Geth, the merge requires that all the operators would upgrade both layers to the merge-compatible versions.
Most importantly, the support team explained that there would be two precedent network upgrades before the merge. These upgrades named “Bellatrix” and “Paris” will be activated in two separate phases to facilitate the core transition of the Ethereum mainnet to the beacon chain.
The Bellatrix upgrade will be passed at an epoch height of 144896 on the Beacon chain, which is estimated to happen around September 6th, at 11:34 UTC. The Paris upgrade is scheduled to trigger at the terminal total difficulty of “58750000000000000000000,” immediately before the merge begins around September 10 – 20th. The estimated date for the TTD might change based on the network’s hashrate.
After all these upgrades are completed, the subsequent blocks of the Ethereum network will be produced by the validators on the beacon chain, marking the beginning of the Ethereum proof-of-stake consensu
Once the execution layer reaches or exceeds the TTD, the subsequent block will be produced by a Beacon Chain validator. The Merge transition is considered complete once the Beacon Chain finalizes this block. Under normal network conditions, this will happen 2 epochs (or ~13 minutes) after the first post-TTD block is produced.
While the mainnet looks set for the big day, Geth or Go Ethereum, the largest Ethereum client software, almost could have run into a severe problem. Geth’s first mainnet-merge release called the Provamess had a bug that could have corrupted users’ databases on Ethereum 2.0 whenever they went offline.
Such a regression would have resulted in an ugly experience for the client’s users, which would have been critical given that Geth serves a whopping 74.9% of all Ethereum node operators. However, the team has discovered and passed a hotfix for the issue.
In order to ensure a smooth transition of the mainnet to the beacon chain, Ethereum Foundation has raised all merge-related bounty calls by 4x to $1 million.