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Ether price surges 8.19% as the Bellatrix hard fork goes live

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(Kitco News) - The Ethereum (ETH) community is celebrating as the Bellatrix hard fork, the last major upgrade before the network transitions to proof-of-stake (PoS), has been activated. The upgrade was activated at epoch 144896 on the Beacon Chain at 11:34 AM UTC today.

According to Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin, the Bellatrix hard fork “prepares the chain for the merge,” which is “still expected to happen around Sept. 13-15.” The Ethereum architect also gave a final warning to node operators that they need to “make sure to update your clients” so that they don’t run into any issues as the process unfolds. 

The update appears to have gone off without a hitch, with the only downside being that around 5% of the Beacon Chain’s validating nodes failed to update in time. It’s not a major issue for the network and should be remedied fairly quickly since “there is money at stake” according to Adrian Sutton, the lead blockchain protocol engineer at ConsenSys.

The Beacon Chain has been operating as a PoS network running in parallel with Ethereum and allowed users to stake their Ether. 

Next up is the Paris upgrade, which will merge the Beacon Chain with the main blockchain to make one, unified PoS network. Once the terminal total difficulty (TTD) is reached, the ability to mine on Ethereum will end, and ‘the Merge’ will take place. 

As noted in the above quote from Buterin, this is expected to occur sometime between Sept. 13-15. Once a TTD of 58750000000000000000000 is reached, the first PoS block will be initiated and from that point on, the Paris upgrade will be in effect. 


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Based on the current hashrate of the Ethereum network, the transition is expected to occur around 7:00 pm EST on Wednesday, Sept. 14, according to data from Ethernodes. At the time of writing, Ethernodes shows that only 74% of the nodes on the network have completed the necessary updates to be designated as “merge ready.” 

Completion of the Merge will mark the end of the second phase of the three-phase transition process for Ethereum. The final phase is expected to occur in late 2023 and will help the network become more energy efficient and scalable. 

The next update scheduled is the Shanghai update, which will allow stakers to withdraw their tokens. Ether's price rallied 8.19% off Monday’s low to hit an intraday high of $1,686 off the momentum from the Bellatrix upgrade and has since pulled back to $1,651 at the time of writing. 
 

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