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Last update: April 20, 2022

The Merge

The Ethereum upgrade known as The Merge will merge the Beacon Chain into Ethereum Mainnet, turning Mainnet into a combination of an execution layer and consensus layer. The Merge transitions Mainnet from proof of work to proof of stake consensus.

Execution and consensus clients

After The Merge, a full Ethereum Mainnet node will be a combination of an execution client (previously called an Ethereum 1.0 client) and a consensus client (previously called an Ethereum 2.0 client).

Execution and consensus clients communicate with each other using the Engine API.

Ethereum Merge node

Execution clients

Execution clients, such as Besu, manage the state and execute transactions on the execution layer. Execution clients serve JSON-RPC API requests and communicate with each other in a peer-to-peer network.

Consensus clients

Consensus clients, such as Teku, contain beacon node and validator client implementations. The beacon node is the primary link to the Beacon Chain (consensus layer). The validator client performs validator duties on the consensus layer. Consensus clients serve REST API requests and communicate with each other in a peer-to-peer network.

Run a node

After The Merge, a Mainnet node operator must run both an execution client and a beacon node at the same time. To become a validator, you must also run a validator client (either in the same process as the beacon node or separately.

You can test Besu as an execution client on the Merge testnet with Teku.

You can run Besu as an execution client on Ethereum Mainnet with Teku.

Consensus clients compatible with Besu include:

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