Caleb & Brown

September 6, 2022  ·  5 Mins

Debunking Misconceptions About The Merge

Debunking Misconceptions About The Merge

On September 15, 2022, Ethereum’s long-awaited Merge was executed, marking the network’s transition from a Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. As this content was written pre-Merge, any mentions of Ethereum using PoW are in reference to the network’s previous consensus mechanism, not its current one.

With The Merge attracting so much media attention and speculation, there are plenty of misconceptions spreading across the crypto community. In this article we debunk the five most prominent misconceptions about The Merge.

Before we dive into it, here’s a quick summary of what’s happening.

‘The Merge’ is the name of the event where the Ethereum blockchain will change its consensus mechanism from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS). It’s known as ‘The Merge’ because it will involve the merging of the main Ethereum blockchain with a special purpose blockchain called ‘the Beacon Chain’.

Recommended Reading: The Merge is Coming: Everything You Need to Know

Top 5 Misconceptions about The Merge

1. The Merge will Reduce Gas Fees

This claim is, in short, inaccurate. However, The Merge could lead to decreased gas fees in the future. The Merge is a change of consensus mechanism, not an expansion of network capacity, and will not result in lower gas fees. This misconception stems largely from confusion between ‘The Merge ‘and what was known as ‘Ethereum 2.0’.

However, the move to PoS sets the stage for Ethereum’s rollup-centric roadmap and sharding which will make gas fees exponentially cheaper in the future.

2. Transaction Speed will Increase Greatly

Though there will be some slights changes, transaction speed will mostly remain the same.

After The Merge, Ethereum’s block time will be marginally faster, from an average block time of 13.6 seconds to 12 seconds. This is a 12% increase in transaction capacity and thus a 12% reduction in gas cost. But this is considered a negligible amount that won’t make a material difference and so isn’t considered a lowering of gas fees.

3. All Staked ETH will be Withdrawn after The Merge

Staking withdrawals are not enabled with The Merge. Withdrawals will be introduced with the Shanghai upgrade, the next major Ethereum upgrade, which is expected to take place 6-12 months after The Merge. This is done for security reasons. Even when they are introduced, there are limitations set in place to limit the number of ETH that can be withdrawn each day.

4. The Merge will Result in Network Downtime

The Merge upgrade is designed to transition to PoS with zero downtime to disrupt the network or its users. The network should keep functioning as intended at all times.

5. Running a Node Requires 32 ETH

Anyone is free to run a node. No ETH is required. Not before or after The Merge.

There are two types of nodes on the Ethereum network – ones that can propose blocks and ones that can’t. Those that are not required to commit ETH do not propose blocks but they are also integral to the network’s security because they hold all block proposers accountable.

FAQs About The Merge

When is The Merge?

Ethereum’s final testnet Merge successfully took place on the Goerli Network on August 10. With this final test completed, The Merge has officially been scheduled for Ethereum’s mainnet. The Merge will be triggered at a Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) of 58750000000000000000000. TTD is expected to be reached around September 15, 2022, around 12:00 UTC. However, this may vary depending on the variable hash rate, and the Ethereum Foundation has indicated the merge could occur any time between September 10-20, 2022.

Is The Merge Priced in?

The question on every investor and traders mind. And the hardest one to answer.

This is the most significant event of its kind. It comes at a time where crypto faces a bear market and is searching for a narrative to bolster the market. This psychological question is one best answered retrospectively than trying to predict the future. We'll be closely following The Merge and the price of ETH as it unfolds.

Is The Merge Risky?

It’s fair to say, there’s a lot at stake.

The Merge is considered one of the biggest events in crypto history because no blockchain has undergone such a significant change before. This brings with it a significant amount of technical challenges and risks of getting something wrong. But this is also why The Merge has taken so long and been delayed so often, as the Ethereum team has been thoroughly testing it for years to ensure they deliver.

Will there be a Fork of the New Ethereum Chain?

Potentially. Some miners are reportedly working to hard fork the chain - that is, to split the chain into a separate network that will continue using the PoW consensus mechanism. This would not be the first time Ethereum has undergone a hard fork; the most famous of which was the Ethereum Classic split in 2016.

Do I Need to do Anything to My ETH?

No. If you are using ETH on-chain or holding ETH, you don’t need to perform any actions during or after The Merge. As the upgrade is based on the protocol, there will be no direct impact on the users or holders.

If an application, exchange, or wallet you use offers additional instructions or recommendations, you should verify these are actually coming from them. Be on the lookout for scams!

Prepare For The Merge With Caleb & Brown

If you're interested in learning more about The Merge, visit our comprehensive Ethereum Merge article. Follow our blog and sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date on all things Ethereum and The Merge.

To start investing in ETH, speak to your personal broker.

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Recommended reading: What is Ethereum? A Beginner's Guide

Disclaimer: This assessment does not consider your personal circumstances, and should not be construed as financial, legal or investment advice. These thoughts are ours only and should only be taken as educational by the reader. Under no circumstances do we make recommendation or assurance towards the views expressed in the blog-post. The Company disclaims all duties and liabilities, including liability for negligence, for any loss or damage which is suffered or incurred by any person acting on any information provided.

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