Sep 07, 2022 Frank Stewskid

Ethereum completes the Bellatrix hard fork. What’s next?

Ethereum completed the last major update before its much-anticipated transition to PoS, known as “The Merge”. The hard fork named Bellatrix went live at epoch 144,896 on the Beacon Chain. 

Bellatrix is the first step of the Merge’s final two-step transition to PoS. The update was triggered, as planned, by a specific total difficulty threshold named Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD). The same is meant to happen with the mainnet once its TTD reaches 58750000000000000000000 – a number expected to be reached not later than September 20. Nevertheless, the exact date at which TTD will be reached depends on the hash rate of the PoW consensus, however if all goes as planned and based on the current Ethereum hashrate, the Merge is expected to take place around 1am UTC Thursday, September 15.

As soon as the target TTD is exceeded by Ethereum’s mainnet, the following block on the chain will be produced by a Beacon Chain validator, as soon as that block gets finalized – The Merge is to be considered complete, according to an earlier blog post from the Ethereum team. Furthermore, “under normal network conditions”, this should happen two epochs, or roughly 13 minutes, after the first post-TTD block is produced.

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