Ethereum Bellatrix upgrade goes live before the merge

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Ethereum Bellatrix Upgrade

The Ethereum Bellatrix upgrade has arrived. The long-awaited upgrade went live on September 6 at 11 PM UTC.

The essential Bellatrix hard fork upgrade will strengthen Ethereum’s proof of stake (PoS) Beacon Chain before the Ethereum merge date arrives.

After the merge that’s due to take place between September 13 – 15, Ethereum will switch from proof of work (PoW) to PoS, marking the next stage in its move towards Ethereum 2.0. The event has been long-awaited and many investors are eager to see the results of the merge.

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Ethereum Bellatrix and PoS

In a tweet, one of Ethereum’s co-founders, Vitalik Buterin, said:

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!

With a PoS consensus, there will be no need for Ethereum miners to process transactions by minting new blocks. Instead, investors will need to stake their ETH tokens with Ethereum validators to keep the network operating.

Becoming a PoS blockchain will allow Ethereum to process transactions faster and more efficiently. It will also make the network environmentally friendly thanks to proof of stake consensus mechanisms needing less electrical power to sustain than their proof of work counterparts.

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Stakers and node operators

For Ethereum investors and speculators, there is not much else to do except to wait for the merge and hope that goes smoothly. Ethereum node operators and stakers on the other hand will need to sync and update their clients. The Ethereum foundation has been alerting users to do so:

Mainnet Merge client releases are out. The time to configure your nodes is now.

If you are a staker and did not previously run an Execution Layer client, make sure to configure your system and give sufficient lead time to sync Mainnet (which can take many days!).

There's plenty of Ethereum news today surrounding the merge, including discussions about a potential Ethereum Hard Fork.