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Ethereum founder expects blockchain merge to happen next month

Ethereum blockchain’s much-anticipated software upgrade the Merge, is now likely to happen around September 15, according to network co-founder Vitalik Buterin, as the third and final ‘Goerli’ test environment network merge before the Ethereum blockchain makes its long-awaited move to proof-of-stake has successfully been completed.

Developers have picked a number of so-called total terminal difficulty required of the final block mined in Ethereum before the network switches to new software. The final date range is expected to be approved during another developer call next week. Goerli was the last of three public testnets to run through a dress rehearsal of the Merge.

Called the Merge, the software upgrade has been in the works for years, and it will change the way Ethereum orders transactions to become more energy efficient. Ether’s software upgrade The Merge is set to take the blockchain to a system called Proof of Stake, in which staked Ether tokens will order transactions, from its current system called Proof of Work, a mechanism which uses powerful computers to order transactions.

The Merge represents a transition in how Ether tokens are minted and transactions are validated, away from mining blocks using complex computational puzzles under the proof-of-work method and toward proof-of-stake. Under the POS method, Ether holders can sign up to validate transactions on Ethereum based on stashes of locked up tokens.

Following a final test stage of the Merge known as Goerli earlier this week, Buterin said the proof-of-work version of Ethereum now only has a rough “fixed number” of mining slots. This means developers can be more certain about when the official network upgrade might begin.

A previous forecast set a date between September 15 and 20. There is another call between Ethereum developers next week to hammer out any last-minute hiccups to the Merge, at which a definite date will be settled upon.

Ethereum is a blockchain-based software platform that can be used for sending and receiving value globally with its native cryptocurrency, ether. First proposed in 2013 by Russian-Canadian computer programmer Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum was designed to expand the utility of cryptocurrencies by allowing developers to create Ethereum-based applications, called ‘decentralized applications,’ or dapps.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

 

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