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The Merge is Ethereum’s Top Focus in 2022, Vitalik Says, Tells China When it Will Happen

While several fintech specialists predict that ETH to peak at $7,609 in 2022, Ethereum’s lead developer has told several of the network’s enthusiasts in China that the merging of the current Ethereum Mainnet with the Beacon chain’s proof-of-stake (PoS) system is their top priority this year. Vitalik Buterin made the point during the 2022 Chinese New Year interview and AMA (ask me anything) session he held in Chinese with the Ethereum Community Network (ECN) which provides information and learning resources to the Chinese Ethereum community. 

He said that after the three important hard forks of 2021 – Berlin, London (both of which are Proof-of-Work (PoW) chain upgrades) and Altair (the first hard fork of the PoS Beacon chain), the most important thing to do in 2022 is their consolidation. After the merger, he added, the PoW chain will no longer exist but the PoS, running all the  accounts, contracts, and transactions that are available on the  network now. After the merger comes scalability for handling more and cheaper transactions. 

According to Ethereum, The Merge will see stakers being assigned to be validators of the Ethereum Mainnet and mining will cease leaving miners the option to invest their earnings into staking. Buterin also referred to “The Urges” roadmap he released last December outlining the Merge, the Surge (sharding), the Verge (the Verkle tree), the Purge (deleting the obsolete) and the Splurge (other important upgrades e.g. account abstraction, EVM upgrades etc) as the sequence the network will follow. 

“It’s been six weeks, and now the only and biggest thing that hasn’t been tested yet is optimistic sync,” a loose translation of Buterin’s comment during the session says. “It is how a new node can synchronize and download network information when it first enters the network. This process still requires some development, and some of their client teams have already done a lot of development, but more testing is needed. So it’s likely that the merger could be done in June.”

The expressed progress level adds to the momentum being built around the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap. According to Finder.com, a provider of top factual information on and compares products and services in the U.S., The Merge is the biggest update coming to the Ethereum network anytime soon. After the upgrade, Ethereum will become a PoS-based blockchain and all governance and consensus on the network will be provided by those who stake ETH on Ethereum 2.0.

Going by this week’s Finder.com poll of 33 fintech, cryptocurrency and NFT specialists including University of Brighton senior lecturer Paul Levy, Permission chief product officer Vanessa Harris, Gryphon Digital Mining’s Rob Chang and Panxora Group CEO Gavin Smith, ETH is expected to hit $7,609 in 2022. 

The Finder.com’s latest Ethereum Price Predictions Report says panellists expect a 102% higher price than at the beginning of the year and to end the year at $6,500, having assessed survey results using a truncated mean with the top and bottom 10% of outlying results removed. Longer term, the panel predicts ETH will be worth $10,810 by the end of 2025, and $26,338 by the end of 2030.  

Meanwhile, one in 10 panelists (11%) think ETH’s move to the PoS model will cause a price drop rather than rise as shared by 79% and the remaining 11% say the likely impact of the move is unsure. Permission’s Harris thinks the move to PoS will drop ETH price to just $100 by 2030 as its high gas fees and low scalability issues are not likely to be solved by the PoS move. Panxora Group’s Smith expects a price drop too and thinks it’s time to sell. Overall 19% of the panel say it’s time to sell ETH while 52% say it’s time to buy and 30% hold.

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