Ethereum Merge Pushed to Q3 As 'Final Chapter' of Proof-of-Work Looms

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The Ethereum merge that forms a key part of the so-called Ethereum 2.0 upgrade has been delayed until the latter half of 2022.

“It won’t be June, but likely in the few months after,” Tim Beiko, an Ethereum Foundation developer, said yesterday on Twitter. “No firm date yet, but we’re definitely in the final chapter of PoW on Ethereum.”

Earlier in the Twitter thread, Beiko had urged a user not to invest in any more mining equipment. 

It won't be June, but likely in the few months after. No firm date yet, but we're definitely in the final chapter of PoW on Ethereum — Tim Beiko | timbeiko.eth 🔥🧱 (@TimBeiko) April 12, 2022 Ethereum 2.0 and proof of stake

Colloquially referred to as Ethereum 2.0—even if it’s not what the Ethereum Foundation prefers—Ethereum’s switch from a proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model has been touted as a fundamental change that “will lay rest” to concerns about how much energy is consumed by network validators. It also means that Ethereum mining will soon become obsolete. 

There’s a lot more than investments in ETH mining rigs riding on the upgrade. 

The second-largest cryptocurrency has a market cap of $364 billion. It’s also the backbone for many other blockchain developments: Decentralized finance (DeFi), the metaverse, more than 500,000 ERC-20 tokens, the vast majority of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and most recently play-to-earn gaming (GameFi).

Searches for “Ethereum Merge” have already surpassed the all-time high they were at just two weeks ago.  A timely development since, until yesterday, the prevailing prediction was that the Ethereum merge would happen before the end of June of this year.

But the march towards the Ethereum upgrade has, at times, felt like one step forward and two (or more) back. As far back as 2020, an Ethereum Foundation researcher doubted the merge would happen in 2020 and got pushback from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin himself.

More recently, developers began testing the impact of the Ethereum merge on a “shadow fork” of the mainnet. The new testing environment has revealed “bugs varying from sync code to request timeout,” Ethereum DevOps engineer Parathi Jayanathi said over the weekend.

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