Ethereum will likely complete The Merge, its transition to an environmentally friendly proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, on Sept. 15 or 16 – several days earlier than expected – developers said at an all-hands call Thursday.
The call came about 12 hours after developers successfully merged Goerli, the final testnet to make the transition before the upgrade is deployed on mainnet. During The Merge, Ethereum’s energy-intensive proof-of-work chain – the original – will fold into the proof-of-stake Beacon Chain.
The developers have agreed to a Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) of 58750000000000000000000, announced Tim Beiko, who organizes the Ethereum developer calls. TTD is the total difficulty of the final block mined under proof-of-work. The subsequent block will be produced under proof-of-stake.
While The Merge has been repeatedly delayed, developers at their previous call had agreed to a rough timeline that placed the transition date around Sept. 19.
The Merge is expected to slash the blockchain’s energy use and, therefore, carbon emissions, by as much as 99%, addressing one of the primary critiques of the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Goerli did hit a snag, however.
“A couple of nodes had gone into their own forks or were offline for another reason,” Parithosh Jayanthi, self-described “validator whisperer” at the Ethereum Foundation, said during the call.
Operators of those nodes had not properly configured their machines for Goerli ahead of its merge on Wednesday night. The rate of participating nodes dropped from 90% pre-merge to about 70%, Jayanthi said, though it later increased to about 84% after operators re-configured their machines.
Ether Above $1900
The success of the Goerli test merge added to Ethereum’s latest rally, which began Wednesday morning New York time after better than expected news regarding U.S. inflation. Trading near $1,850 Wednesday, Ether briefly jumped above $1,900 after the Goerli merge, and has hovered at that level in the hours since.
The news was even better for Ethereum Classic, however.
Ethereum Classic, the often-overlooked fork from the early days of Ethereum, was up 13% Wednesday, well above the day-over-day 3% rise in the price of Ether. As The Defiant reported earlier this month, the Ethereum Classic community is betting that The Merge will be a boon for their sleepy token.
The energy-guzzling machines required for proof-of-work blockchains will no longer be needed to maintain the security of Ethereum once it completes The Merge. The Ethereum Classic community believes a significant portion of this computing power will be redirected to ETC.