Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has gained 6% over the last 24 hours and is now trading at $1,660.

This makes Ethereum the best-performing asset among the top 10, according to statistics from CoinMarketCap.

The recent price activity precedes the Bellatrix upgrade to Ethereum’s consensus layer. Later today, Bellatrix will initiate the merge event, the network’s widely anticipated move from the resource-intensive proof-of-work.

As the Ethereum Foundation detailed in a blog post last month, the merging is a two-step process: it must first be enabled on the Beacon Chain, the network’s PoS chain that is operating parallel to the current PoW network, with the Bellatrix update on the consensus layer being triggered by an epoch height.

In turn, Bellatrix will be followed by the Paris upgrade – the change of the execution layer from PoW to PoS, triggered by a specified level known as the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD).

Ethereum’s consensus layer is the blockchain’s backbone architecture, housing and validating the effectiveness of validators, while the execution layer is where smart contracts and network rules are stored and executed.

Merge is projected to occur between September 10 and September 20, 2022, depending on Ethereum’s hash rate or the amount of processing power used to safeguard the network. The faster the network reaches the needed TDD to activate the merging, the larger the hash rate.

“Once the execution layer approaches or surpasses the TTD, a Beacon Chain validator will issue the succeeding block,” the Ethereum Foundation explained. “The Merge transition is deemed complete after this block is finalized by the Beacon Chain. Under typical network circumstances, this will occur 2 epochs (or 13 minutes) following the production of the first post-TTD block.

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