Arguably the most anticipated event in Ethereum’s 7-year-old history could come in the next few months, asserted the project’s co-founder as well as a couple of core ETH developers. This should happen before the “difficulty bomb” slows down the network.
Speaking at a panel during the Permissionless conference, ETH core developer Preston Van Loon noted that The Merge could occur sometime in August:
“As far as we know, if everything goes to plan, August – it just makes sense. If we don’t have to move (the difficulty bomb), let’s do it as soon as we can.”
The difficulty bomb is an intentional process embedded into Ethereum’s code that will eventually slow down the network. The dev team incorporated it for two main reasons – to encourage developers to push the proof of stake transition and make it harder for miners to remain on the proof of work chain following the event.
Although the difficulty bomb has been postponed several times in the past to make sure the network continues to function correctly, the team wants to avoid another delay this time and complete The Merge before the blockchain slows down.
Previously, another developer – Tim Beiko – said The Merge will not happen in June as expected, but it will most likely occur a few months later.
Further echoing Van Loon’s encouraging words, ETH researcher Justin Drake made a similar prediction, saying he had a “strong desire to make this happen before difficulty bomb in August.”
Vitalik Buterin also reiterated this stance during the ETH Shanghai Summit but also gave more room for potential hiccups, saying The Merge could be in September or October.
At the Eth Shanghai Summit, Vitalik said that the Ethereum merge (POW to POS) is likely to happen in the summer in August, If there are some potential risks, September or October is also possible. Live：https://t.co/WSl2IpAyJW
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) May 20, 2022
The Ethereum blockchain marked a new milestone on its way to PoS recently as the Ropsten public testnet was announced to complete The Merge in early June.