ConsenSys researcher Mikhail Kalinin created a pull request for EIP-3675 on Github on July 22. The move formally initiates the process of upgrading the Ethereum network from its current proof-of-work chain to the highly anticipated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
The specification noted that the Beacon Chain network has been up and running since December 2020. It added that no failures had been detected during this period of time so it was time to progress to the next level in the long road to ETH 2.0.
“The long period of running without failures demonstrates sustainability of the beacon chain system and witnesses its readiness to start driving and become a security provider for the Ethereum Mainnet.”
The EIP sets the stage for what developers have called “The Merge” to Ethereum 2.0. It will be discussed at the core developers meeting on July 23, according to developer Tim Beiko who stated:
“Hard to overstate how valuable’s @mkalinin2’s [Mikhail Kalinin’s] work on The Merge has been, and it’s finally being formalized in an EIP,”
According to the official documentation, the current Ethereum mainnet will merge with the Beacon Chain marking the end of proof-of-work for Ethereum. This is planned to precede the rollout of shard chains but is unlikely to happen this year.
Once merged, the new mainnet will bring the ability to run smart contracts on the proof-of-stake system. It will also import the full history and the current state of Ethereum, to ensure that the transition is smooth for all ETH holders and users.
A few features, such as the ability to withdraw staked ETH, will be implemented after the merge is complete. Plans also include a post-merge “cleanup upgrade” to address and expedite this, which is expected to happen very soon after the merge is completed.
Ethereum price outlook
Ethereum prices have made gains for the second day in a row, holding above the psychological $2,000 level. At the time of press, ETH was changing hands for $2,060 up 3% on the day.
ETH has now gained 8% over the past week and 10% since the same time last month but is down 53% since its all-time high of $4,350 in mid-May.