Ethereum Merge FAQ
Ethereum is anticipated to update its consensus mechanism from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) on or around September 15, 2022 (TTD 58750000000000000000000). Six years in the making, this milestone will reduce energy consumption for the Ethereum network by a projected 99.95% compared to PoW, make it more secure and allow for easier implementations of new scaling solutions. Here is a great video about the technical details of the Merge, as well as the official explanation by the Ethereum Foundation.
Please see the below for details on how the Ethereum Merge - and possible fork(s) - will affect Wormhole core layer and Portal bridge users.
Note: The Ethereum token will still be named ETH; on this page, we only use ETH-PoS and ETH-PoW to distinguish them from one another clearly. Here are the most common questions:
Q: How does the Ethereum Merge affect Wormhole/Portal users? What considerations should users make when transferring assets cross-chain? A: There are no actions required from users to upgrade to ETH-PoS.
Q: Will the transactions on Wormhole and/or Portal be paused before/during/after the Merge? A: No disruptions are planned, so no transfers will be paused.
Q: Do I have to do anything to get the “new” ETH-PoS? A: No. After the Merge, when unwrapping Portal-wrapped ETH to its native form, it will automatically become ETH-PoS.
Q: In the case of a fork (or several forks), will Wormhole support the forked ETH-PoW? A: The 19 Wormhole Guardians have reached consensus to only support the Ethereum PoS network at this time.
Q: Do users receive both wETH-PoS and wETH-PoW once the Merge hits? A: No. There won’t be two or more versions of Portal-wrapped ETH. Portal-wrapped ETH will stay Portal-wrapped ETH, which can always be unwrapped to native ETH, which after the Merge is ETH-PoS.
Q: I have owned Portal-wrapped ETH since before the Merge. Do I get the “old” ETH when I unwrap it now? A: No. After the Merge, Portal-wrapped ETH will unwrap for native ETH, which is ETH-PoS.