Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD), a measure determining the difficulty of mining Ethereum blocks, has reached 58750000000000000000000, the TTD value triggering The Merge. One it hits the TTD threshold, the PoW chain – the chain responsible for processing transactions on Ethereum, will merge into Beacon chain – the PoS chain that conducts and coordinates the network of stakers.
After The Merge, power consumption on the blockchain will be reduced by 99% because the consensus mechanism will no longer need miners as before. As it uses less energy, the rewards for validators on the PoS chain will also be less than the rewards for miners on the PoW chain, thereby reducing ETH inflation. However, The Merge will have little impact on gas fees and transaction speed. Gas fees on Ethereum will not decrease and the transaction speed also won’t increase much as blocks will be produced only 10% faster on PoS than PoW.
An important note is that after The Merge launched, validators still cannot withdraw ETH used to stake on Ethereum until the Shanghai update is deployed. The Shanghai release date has yet to be announced, approximately 6-12 months after The Merge.
Since The Merge roadmap announced in mid-August, ETH has had a short-term bull run to hit $2,000, the highest level since June of this year before returning to the $1,600-$1,700 mark in late August – early September. Currently, ETH is trading around $1,632.
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