The Ethereum Merge is Complete
The Ethereum Mainnet and Beacon chain merged at a 'Total Terminal Difficulty; (TTD) value of 58.75 Hextillion, signalling the end of Proof-of-Work (POW) and the transition to Proof-of-Stake (POS) Under Proof-of-Stake Ethereum's energy consumption is expected to be reduced by ~99.95%.
You do not need to do anything. Please be vigilant of scams claiming otherwise.
You can become a solo validator by staking 32 ETH, or you can join a staking pool such as Lido.
ETH 2.0 is a depreciated term that refers to a number of upgrades to the Ethereum network. Due to its wide scope it has been compartmentalised, the merge focuses on one aspect of this goal by switching consensus mechanisms. Up next is sharding and scaling the network to handle more transaction capacity .
Post-merge Ethereum miners will be replaced with Validators and their mining hardware will need to find a new home. This means either selling them on the second hand market or redirecting that power towards Ethereum Classic (ETC) a version of Ethereum that didn't roll back the 2015 DAO hack, as such many refer to it as the original Ethereum
No. The merge is just a change of consensus mechanisms, it will not expand network capacity.
The Merge is the most significant and anticipated update to the Ethereum network to date signalling the switch from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake as a consensus mechanism; it also sets the stage for future scaling upgrades including sharding. Under Proof-of-Stake Ethereum's energy consumption is expected to be reduced by ~99.95%.
This will signal the end of Proof-of-Work on Ethereum and a new era of Proof-of-Stake consensus with further (future) scalability upgrades not possible under proof-of-work, bringing Ethereum one step closer to achieving full scale, security and sustainability.
The Beacon Chain is a proof-of-stake consensus layer that runs in parallel to the Ethereum mainnet which uses proof-of-work. It was launched December 1st 2020 and coordinates a network of stakers.
Ethereum can be bought and sold on Blockchain.com as well as numerous other crypto platforms and exchanges depending on your location.
Ethereum is a smart contracting network that supports numerous web3 projects and decentralised applications (dApps). Ether (ETH) is the native crypto currency of the network and is used to facilitate payments and interactions. Ether can be bought and sold on blockchain.com.
The difficulty bomb is a mechanism that will increase network mining difficulty exponentially overtime leading to an eventual 'ice age' where the chain slows down and will eventually ‘freeze’. This bomb is currently scheduled to occur at block 15,750,000