Upcoming Ethereum Merge ‘Dress Rehearsal’ Makes Way for Bellatrix Upgrade

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With the Ethereum Merge expected early this month, network developer Tim Beiko has announced the Bellatrix upgrade for June 2. This is the improvement upgrade that prepares the Ropsten Beacon Chain for the Merge.

On May 30, Ethereum announced the launch of a new beacon chain on the Ropsten network to provide consensus. Subsequently, Beiko had taken to Twitter to state ‘Ethereum’s longest-lived PoW testnet is moving to Proof of Stake, with the Merge expected around June 8.’

But according to the developer, for the Merge to happen on the given date on Ropsten, the network needs to upgrade to “merge-compatible protocol rules” at slot 24,000 on June 2. This essentially means that following the Bellatrix upgrade, a Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) will be chosen to activate the Merge.

TTD value to be announced after the Bellatrix upgrade

Ethereum developers have explained that “because the hash rate of proof-of-work testnets is very volatile, the TTD value will first be set to an exceedingly high value,” Only to further note that a new TTD value will be chosen and announced only after the Bellatrix upgrade.

That said, more details around TTD are expected on June 3 for the Node Operators. Given the Merge is set to update both the consensus and execution layer clients for the Node Operators.

Meanwhile, Beiko has specified, “Post-merge, if you ran a node/validator on the beacon chain, you now *must* also run an execution client. Similarly, if you ran a node on the PoW chain, you *must* run a consensus layer client.”

Meanwhile, validators are alerted that they ensure that ‘transactions in blocks that they create and attest to are valid’  post-merge. For this, they are also reportedly being incentivized to receive the priority fees from transactions.

The developer also specified that ‘withdrawals from the Beacon Chain will likely be introduced in the first upgrade after The Merge.’

What follows the Ropsten Merge

Ropsten Merge will follow PoS transitions on two more testnets — Goerli and Sepolia. And so far, Ethereum has tested Merge implementations on Kintsugi and Kiln.

However, non of these transitions have affected the Ethereum mainnet. Therefore, Ether holders and the network users will not be impacted until the main show occurs this summer.

That said, as Ethereum inches closer to the mainnet Merge, the wide consensus is that it will have a positive impact on ETH’s price.

In a recent Bloomberg interview, Dawn Fitzpatrick, chief executive, and chief investment officer of Soros Fund Management, said that Ethereum is likely to gain some more traction over Bitcoin in the future due to environmental concerns.

However, at the time of press, ETH remains under the crucial level of $2,000 on CoinGecko. The figure is a 60% discount from its all-time high of $4,878 reached in November 2021. Notably, in the last 30 days, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap has lost over 30% of its value.

Contrarily, Ethereum remains the leader on the DeFi front. On DeFiLlama, Ethereum currently dominates close to 64% of the total value locked within dApps, at over $71 billion. But in terms of the number of protocols on the network, Binance Smart Chain is closely following at 400 protocols, compared to 490 on Ethereum.

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Shraddha Sharma

Shraddha is an India-based journalist who worked in business and financial news before diving into the crypto space. As an investment enthusiast, she has also has a keen interest in understanding crypto from a personal finance standpoint.

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