Despite the bearish market, the Ethereum community is looking forward to merge.

The first public testnet merge took place on the Ropsten network in late May, with all necessary fixes have since been deployed. The Eth2 Beacon Chain will next be launched on the Sepolia testnet on June 20.

Ethereum’s chain-merge will transition the network’s consensus layer from Proof-of-Work Proof-of-Stake, combining it with the existing execution layer. The upgrade will replace miners with stakers validating transactions, delivering a 90% drop in new Ether created and more than 99% reduction in energy consumption.

This transition is tipped to result in more ETH being removed from supply than is created through validator rewards, known as deflationary issuance.

The increasing share of Ethereum’s supply staked on the Eth2 Beacon Chain signals “huge trust in the network” despite the upgrade not going live yet, said Josh Rogers, CEO and founder of digital asset investment platform Minterest, to The Defiant.

“Possibly the best indicator of positive market sentiment towards The Merge is the sheer scale of staking. [There is] “a growing sector-wide belief in the viability and likelihood of Ethereum 2.0 and how the Proof-of-Stake model benefits further network growth.”

On June 15, Ethereum’s core devs released the specifications for the seventh shadow fork, out of 20 shadow forks in total. Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD), also known as the “difficulty bomb”, a hardcoded deadline for the merge to occur at a specific block height, is scheduled to launch on June 22.

Meanwhile, the difficulty bomb for the upgrade’s mainnet deployment has been postponed until mid-September.

According to ConsenSys, Ben Edgington tweeted that the delay may not put off The Merge past its current expected launch date in August. However, others have acknowledged that the upgrade could again be rescheduled for a later date should issues be identified on shadow fork deployments and testnet.

The growing volume of staked ETH has indicated that the market is “more confident in the timeline of the Merge, said Dusan Kovacic, chief investment officer at Rockaway Blockchain Fund to The Defiant. 

“Testing of the Merge is leading to lowered expectations of possible delays,” Kovacis said “Everyone can now see how it will work, and this increases user trust and positive sentiment… people are willing to take the risk of having their tokens locked for longer.”

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