The Ethereum merge is the planned re-architecture of the blockchain. It will bring together the Ethereum network’s execution and consensus layers. The execution layer is also known as the Ethereum Mainnet. The Ethereum merge will ensure that devices operate in accordance with network rules. It will not address the major issues that plague Ethereum users. Those issues include gas fees (which can range from $50 to $100 per transaction), network congestion, and transaction speed.
The two blockchains use different consensus mechanisms, and the Merge will change the way they validate transactions. The original Proof of Work consensus mechanism requires a lot of computer power to verify transactions, but the Proof of Stake model is more efficient. While Ethereum is the largest blockchain, many users are not able to participate in its network. Because the blockchain is so popular and scalable, the developers of Ethereum are planning a Merge to make the network accessible to a wider range of users.
The Merge will not solve the scalability issue directly, but it will prepare the network for subsidiary shard chains. These chains will use the fully-functional PoS network. The shard chains will help spread data load across 64 blockchains, and will make it possible for new layer 2 systems to be built on top of Ethereum. In addition to scalability, layer 2 systems will benefit from the security of the Ethereum mainnet.
As the Ethereum merger nears completion, the price may experience volatility. This may destabilize its position as the smart contract king. In the meantime, the price may continue to rise. The Merge may also cause significant technical problems, and a huge delay in the upgrade process could make it harder to sustain the current price levels. The Merge could also affect the growth prospects of other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. It may be prudent for investors to buy into Ethereum as early as possible if it is not affected by major technical problems.
The Merge has been delayed several times in the past. Developers announced that it wouldn’t be complete until June, but that was changed. Eventually, Ethereum developers hope to merge the two networks to avoid further delays. The final release candidate is expected to be ready in September, but if the merger does not happen until June, it will be delayed for at least another few months. It is still a very early stage, so further delays might be problematic.
Until the main network is upgraded, many users should test the system before merging. The most closely similar version of the main Ethereum network is Ropsten, which is one of the test networks that will need to be upgraded. This will provide valuable feedback to developers, so it will be important to continue testing the two network networks in the near future. There are two more test networks to upgrade before the main network can become ready. One of them is expected to merge on June 12.