The Ethereum’s Merge Official Kick-Off Date is set to activate on September 6, bringing several long-awaited changes and upgrades to the network.
Ethereum’s merge has been in the works for over a year and was first proposed by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin in January 2019. The idea is to combine the best of Ethereum’s existing networks (Ethereum 1.0 and 2.0) into one unified system.
Now that the date is finally approaching, here’s what you need to know about the big event.
What Is the Ethereum’s Merge Date?
In a nutshell, Ethereum’s merge is a way to upgrade it to support the features of Ethereum 2.0. This includes sharding (a way to improve scalability), proof-of-stake (a more energy-efficient consensus algorithm), and other underlying architectural changes.
Notably, Ethereum’s merge is not a hard fork, which would split the network into two incompatible versions. Instead, it’s designed to be a smooth transition that will eventually result in all users being on the same upgraded network.
What’s Happening on September 6?
On September 6, 2022, at 12:00 UTC, the first phase of the merge will officially begin. This phase, called “Phase 0,” involves launching a new Ethereum 2.0 network called the “beacon chain.”
The beacon chain is a coordinating system that will eventually be responsible for managing all the different shards in Ethereum 2.0. However, it will first exist as a standalone network parallel to Ethereum 1.0.
Over time, the plan is to slowly migrate users and ETH from Ethereum 1.0 to Ethereum 2.0. This process will happen in multiple phases, with Phases 1 and 2 expected to launch in 2021. Once all users are on Ethereum 2.0, the legacy Ethereum 1.0 chain will be phased out entirely.
What Does This Mean for ETH Holders?
If you’re an ETH holder, there’s not much you need to do in preparation for the merge. Your ETH will remain safe and accessible on Ethereum 1.0 during the entire process.
However, once Ethereum 2.0 is up and running, you may want to consider moving your ETH over to the new network. This is because ETH 2.0 will offer many advantages over Ethereum 1.0, such as increased scalability, improved security, and lower transaction fees.
Of course, whether or not you choose to move your ETH is entirely up to you. You can keep it on Ethereum 1.0 for as long as you like or even move it back and forth between the two networks depending on which one suits your needs better at any given time.
The merge is a complex and multi-faceted upgrade, so a lot still needs to happen before it’s fully complete. However, the most significant milestone is approaching, Ethereum’s merge date, on September 6, 2020, when Phase 0 will finally launch.
After that, it will gradually migrate users and ETH over to Ethereum 2.0 in phases. Once the entire network is on Ethereum 2.0, we’ll finally have a unified system that combines the best of both worlds.