Updates from the Ethereum Foundation ahead of the Merge

  • Ethereum’s switch to proof-of-stake has been in the plan for a long while., with the event now just weeks away.
  • The Ethereum Foundation is giving out enormous bounties for Merge-related bugs.

On Wednesday, the Ethereum Foundation announced an official date for the highly expected software upgrade. The upgrade, known as the Merge, will enable Ethereum transition to become a proof-of-stake (PoS) network. The upgrade has been a long time coming. It will make transactions on this blockchain consume less energy by changing Ethereum order transactions.

Under the proof-of-stake mechanism, staked ether tokens will order transactions. It differs from the current proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism in which powerful computers order transactions. The Merge process will start with activating the Bellatrix upgrade on the beacon chain.

According to the announcement, this activation will happen on September 6. Then, between September 10 and 20, the network’s team will initiate the terminal total difficulty value, which will trigger the Merge. The Ethereum foundation revealed that all upgrades on the public testnets are complete and successful.

Hence, the Merge can now be deployed on the Ethereum mainnet. The Merge will be in two steps. The first is the network upgrade, while the second will be the switch of the execution layer from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. The Merge will change the minting of ether tokens and the validation of transactions.

It differs from PoW, where mining blocks utilize complex computation puzzles. In the PoS mechanism, Ether holders with a stash of locked tokens can sign up and validate transactions on the Ethereum network. Edul Patel, the CEO and co-founder of Mudrex, a crypto investment platform, said that the official statement from the Ethereum foundation would push the buzz around eth and cause its price to soar.

Ethereum foundation bumps bounties for Merge-related bugs

Ahead of the Merge upgrade, the Ethereum foundation improved its bug bounties. Bug hunters that can identify the most critical vulnerabilities will receive an astonishing $1 million. This amount is four times larger than previous bounties for similar bug identification.

The most generous payouts are for security researchers and are available until September 8. October 2020 was the first time the Ethereum foundation announced a bounty program focusing on Ethereum 2.0. Over time, the foundation has raised the rewards before the Beacon Chain launch.

Related: Is an Ethereum chain split after Merge coming? Survey shows a majority expect a smooth transition

The announcement of a bumper reward program for bug hunters follows a recent revelation by Peter Szilagyi. Szilagyi recently tweeted that he discovered a vulnerability in Geth 1.10.22. In August 2021, a significant bug hit the Geth software, leading to the Ethereum blockchain split. However, the developers swung into action quickly to avert a catastrophe for the network.

Three months ago, an unnamed white hacker discovered a critical vulnerability in the wormhole bridge and received a $10 million bounty for their efforts. Also, aurora paid $6 million to an ethical hacker two months ago. Earlier in the year, MakerDAO started a bug bounty program with rewards reaching $10 million.

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