The Ethereum Merge is one of the most important events to take place in the crypto world, with multiple years in the making. But when is the Ethereum Merge happening? Here, we’ll cover the Ethereum Merge date and all of the details you need to know.
- The target Ethereum Merge date is September 15th, 2022. However, this date is variable – read on below to find out why.
- The price of Ethereum recently pumped more than 33% from a low of $1,338.81 to as high as $2,022.79. However, the price has since been cooling off.
- Media outlets have been reporting that the positive price action was driven by the successful rollout of the Ethereum Merge on the third and final test network.
- The Ethereum Merge is an upgrade that’s been in the pipeline for years. When complete, it will shift the entire Ethereum blockchain from its current proof-of-work (PoW) validation model to a more carbon-neutral, proof-of-stake (PoS) method.
- The final preparation step for the Merge, the Bellatrix upgrade, took place September 6th. It added a crucial parameter to the Beacon Chain to validate transactions following the Merge.
Ethereum Merge Date
So, when is the Ethereum Merge? The short answer is somewhere between September 13 and September 15.
But why do none of the sources around say a specific date or time?
The reason lies in how the Merge is programmed to be activated – it is scheduled in “blockchain time”, not real-world time.Rather than a human flicking a switch to activate the Merge, it is instead set to be triggered once the blockchain performs a specific aggregate amount of computer work. The technical term being a “Terminal Total Difficulty”, or “TTD”.
Once a TTD value of 58750000000000000000000 is reached, the Merge will be triggered and the network will officially shift to proof-of-stake (PoS). Mining will no longer work on Ethereum. Since total difficulty is directly affected by computing power on the network – and computing power on the network fluctuates – we can only roughly estimate when this TTD value will be reached.
A handy TTD tracker was made by Twitter user @reir at totaldifficulty.com, where you can keep an eye on the total difficulty as it approaches the Merge trigger.
Ethereum Merge Price & Ethereum Hard Fork
What will the price of Ethereum be after the Merge? Many factors are at play when estimating what the price of Ethereum will be following the Merge.
Being a highly-anticipated event, some consider the Merge to be “priced in”. That is, everybody already knew about the upgrade and has already bought Ether in hopes that it would rise in value from the Merge. This appears to be somewhat valid, as Ethereum price had a strong rally recently in anticipation of the Merge, but has since corrected. This could lead to the Merge being a “sell-the-news” event.
Another notable impact to price may come from the potential hard fork that may follow the Merge, due to part of the community wishing to preserve the Proof-of-Work (PoW) network model.
Some investors have purchased more Ether in anticipation of a network and token split, which they will own both sides of if they hold ETH before the hard fork occurs. Markets for the potential PoW token are already live, estimating the value of the forked token to be around $37 per ETHW. The higher the price of this token, the lower the “real” Ethereum price may be after the Merge.
Perhaps more obviously, there is also a small risk of the Merge upgrade being delayed, failing, or having a bug in the code that affects its performance or success. This would likely result in a negative impact on the price of Ethereum after the Merge.
The Ethereum Merge and Proof-of-Stake – A Long Time Coming
It’s safe to say that the Ethereum Merge has been anything but fast. In fact, glacial drift may have moved faster, no one knows for sure.
However, one thing that’s a certainty is that the Merge has been extremely difficult to execute due to its complexity and the fact that the blockchain will not shut down during the launch. That’s similar to making repairs on a race car during an actual race.
That elevates the stakes and the risks surrounding the upgrade. It’s understandable that the developers want to tread lightly and get everything right the first time. It’s been out of an abundance of caution that the Ethereum Foundation and its corral of software coders have endured self-imposed delays and setbacks to reconfigure the entire network away from its energy-hungry proof-of-work (PoW) consensus method to an electricity-sipping proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism.
Once fully deployed, Ethereum’s PoS blockchain will use 99.95% less electricity than its PoW version according to the Ethereum Foundation. Additionally, the Foundation has been promising that once the Merge is fully operational, users of the blockchain will experience lower network congestion and transaction fees, as well as enhanced scalability with faster settlement speeds.
Holders are currently earning about 4%, but this is projected to 2X to 8% once the Merge is live. If you’re interested in the expected return from staking, our ETH 2 calculator can help.
Earlier this month, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin spoke at a blockchain conference in Korea where he outlined those benefits of the Merge again, and further shared that the Merge is just the first phase in a series of four more planned advancements for the blockchain.
Buterin listed the order of the next upgrades as Surge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge — all of which are intended to help future-proof the network’s functionality, security, and safety.
The future for Ethereum is bright…and deflationary
Even without the benefits from the Merge mentioned above, the Ethereum blockchain has a lot going for it. Not only does it currently support the largest number of developer apps in the crypto sector, it also continues to be the network of choice for the most popular Web3 activities including decentralized finance offerings, gaming, and trading of non-fungible tokens.
One of the most important things that should be pointed out, is that since the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)-1559 was activated in August of last year, more than 2.58 million ETH have been burned, producing a net reduction in supply of 51.62% according to WatchTheBurn.com. That supply reduction is not an accident, but is by design with the sole purpose of reducing the percentage of every newly minted ETH coin in circulation to make it a more deflationary asset, thereby increasing the value of every other ETH coin in existence over time.
This is not financial advice, and investors should always do their own research before putting money into any investment. However, whether you want to simply “buy the rumor, sell the news” of the Merge or hold Ethereum for the long haul — it is a top shelf crypto asset that’s likely to go much higher in the next bull market.