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Buterin Shares Possible Date for The Merge at ETH Shanghai Developer Summit

In his overview of where Ethereum and its protocol stand at the moment during the ETH Shanghai Web 3.0 Developer Summit, lead Ethereum developer, Vitalik Buterin, said that the much-awaited The Merge upgrade is now likely to happen in the summer – in August and either in September or October should there be any potential risk.

The Merge is the switch from the Proof of Work (PoW) to the Proof of Stake (PoW) which, according to Buterin, has been in the works for as almost since the Ethereum project began. He said they have been working on the PoS for about seven years now. The switch is important as it moves the network away from mining which has been deemed unfriendly to the environment. Also, Ether locked in the Ethereum Beacon chain since late 2020 will be unlocked shortly after the upgrade.


The Merge in summer 

The Merge upgrade had earlier been scheduled for June but was later changed to happen a “few months after”.

“The biggest news in Ethereum this year, I think, is The Merge,” Buterin said in his virtual presentation during the Summit on Friday, May 20. “But finally all of that work is coming together.” He mentioned that an announcement earlier this week of The Merge happening on the Ethereum test network (Ropsten) on June 8 is the biggest thus far. He says:

“This will be a major test that’s larger than any of the test that we have done before. Taking a large existing test network with many applications with Proof of Work moving it to Proof of Stake. If everything goes well, then the likely plan is for The Merge to happen in the summer. I know that just in a few days ago, I suggested that August is a possible date for The Merge to happen. If there are no problems, then The Merge would happen in August but of course, there is always a risk of problem, there’s also a risk of delay, so September is possible, and October is possible as well. But The Merge is, at this point, working like it’s very close to happening and so Ethereum will finally become a proof of stake network.”

Core Ethereum developer ,Preston Van Loon, shared a similar timeline at the Permissionless conference noting that “it makes sense” for The Merge upgrade to happen in August “if everything goes well.”

The Merge and The Surge more than enough

There are five sections to the transition process (The Merge, The Surge, The Verge, The Purge and The Splurge) of the Ethereum network. After The Merge comes The Surge which enables sharding that increases scalability and makes it possible for roll ups to process a very large number of transactions.

Buterin thinks The Merge and The Surge are enough to make the network have a good system even as its roadmap stabilizes. He said that with both of them, the Ethereum network will be a great system while the additional applications will only make it better.

“I don’t think that all of these necessarily needs  to happen,” he said. “My personal opinion is, if we have The Merge and we have The Surge, and we have nothing else, then Ethereum will still be a great system. But I think if we get The Merge and we also get The Surge and we also get these other improvements, then Ethereum will be even a better system.”

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