74% of Ethereum nodes are marked 'Merge ready' just before the Bellatrix upgrade
Ahead of the Merge, the Ethereum Foundation urges node operators to stop using out-of-date clients
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Image: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
According to recent data, approximately 73.5 percent of Ethereum nodes are marked as Merge ready. This happened just before the Bellatrix upgrade. On Tuesday, September 6, the long-awaited Bellatrix upgrade went live on the Ethereum blockchain. This upgrade is regarded as one of the final required steps before the official Merge. With the Merge, Ethereum will transition from the current Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. The Merge is scheduled to take place between September 10 and September 20.
To be Merge ready, Ethereum node operators must comply with the Bellatrix upgrade. They can do this by updating their consensus layer clients prior to the Beacon Chain epoch 144896. 26.5 percent are not ready yet. In a series of tweets, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko have urged other node operators to update their clients.
In this context, Beiko tweeted, "Bellatrix is tomorrow 📆 Last chance to upgrade your node if you haven’t yet! We’re mergiiiing 🐼"
It is reported that the majority of 'Not-Ready' nodes are on the Geth client. This is happening where Geth v1.10.23 or higher is not yet installed. Other Ethereum clients that require updates include Erigon, Besu, and Nethermind. The Foundation stated that if Ethereum miners or node operators are using an out-of-date client, they will sync to the pre-fork blockchain once the upgrade occurs.
Ethereum Foundation recently stated, "Node operators will be stuck on an incompatible chain following old rules and will be unable to send Ether or operate on the post-merge Ethereum network."
Ethereum nodes must validate blocks and can be run by various Ethereum client software that differs in programming language and codebase. The Ethereum Foundation has also issued guidelines for Ether and other Ethereum-based asset holders. During the Merge, these users will not be required to do anything with their assets. They should, however, be cautious and watch out for scams urging them to do anything that could result in losses.
According to Buterin, "The merge is still expected to happen around Sep 13-15. What's happening today is the Bellatrix hard fork, which *prepares* the chain for the merge. Still important though - make sure to update your clients!"
The Paris event will be triggered after the Bellatrix upgrade when the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) reaches 58750000000000000000000. It is expected to happen around September 15. When the execution layer exceeds this TTD, a Beacon Chain validator will generate the following block. The completion of the block will mark the final transition of the Ethereum blockchain into a Proof-of-Stake network.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash