The much-anticipated Merge is officially underway.
Following the activation of the Bellatrix upgrade on the Beacon chain, the much-anticipated merger officially began, marking the beginning of the final phase of Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake consensus.
Bellatrix has prepared the Consensus layer for upgrading The Merge and Execution layers.
The Total Terminal Difficulty (TTD) value that will trigger the merge has been set and is expected to be reached between September 13th and 16th.
Despite some initial technical issues, Ethereum developers celebrated the successful execution of the Bellatrix upgrade, announcing that they are going all out for the eventual merger.
The broader market tumbled on Tuesday as concerns over macroeconomic uncertainty prevailed, pushing the price of the major cryptocurrency below key support levels.
As of this writing, BTC is approaching a new cycle low after losing 5.3% of its market cap over the past 24 hours.
On the upside, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap is facing resistance near the $19,000 to $19,500 area.
Failure to rise above this resistance zone could lead to a further downside correction to test support near $18.5k.
In derivatives markets, liquidations remained limited as investors braced for a potential sharp drop as sentiment was subdued.
In the options market, both the surging implied volatility and the plunging slope point to an even bleaker outlook for the market.
Meanwhile, BTC’s market cap dominance has fallen to 2018 levels.
While it is too early to draw conclusions, the current bear market is similar to the previous two cycles in both duration and depth of retracement.
ETH plunged alongside BTC after a rally early Tuesday morning.
The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is now trading at just over $1,500 after an 8% setback over the same period.
The imminent shift to energy-efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus during the global energy crisis doesn’t seem to bring enough momentum to boost the crypto market.
Most altcoins are drowning in a sea of red, with ETC leading losses by double-digit percentage losses on a similar time frame.