As a sign of support for the upcoming Ethereum Merge, Google is marking the time left until the upgrade with a new countdown timer. Typing any variation of “Ethereum Merge” or “The Merge” into the search engine brings up a countdown ticker, with an estimated time remaining until the merge based on the current mining difficulty, hash rate, and merge difficulty.
On the side is a cartoon of two pandas running towards each other with outstretched arms, which will supposedly get closer as the merge date approaches. Google Cloud developer Sam Padilla said in a Sept. 9 tweet that the timer was a "fun little surprise" and a way to show their appreciation for "the work that's gone into this over the years."
He said the work was done by Google's "search and labs" team, but noted that he helped "spark" the idea and discussion that led to the implementation of the feature. In the same post, Padilla explained that the timer is connected directly to the blockchain, updating the countdown in real time, stating: “The underlying data is getting pulled directly from the blockchain via some of the nodes we run”.
Google is increasingly involved in the crypto space, and on May 6, the company established a Web3 team under Google Cloud. However, Google developers aren't the only ones watching Merge with great interest. Recent Google search data revealed that searches for the term “Ethereum Merge” have generated results above 50 several times in the past 30 days, peaking at 100 on September 3rd.
A value of 100 is classified as "top term popularity", while a value of 50 means that the term is "half as popular" A score of 0 means that there was not enough data for that day.
Security experts warn of post-merge vulnerability
"If you control two consecutive blocks, you can start an exploit on block N and finish it on block N+1 without having any arbitrage bot coming in and fixing the price that you have manipulated in between," the expert said, choosing to remain anonymous.
The effect of The Merge on layer-2 blockchains
"It will be business as usual for L2s. These solutions still have key value for short, medium and long-term scalability. L2s will still be needed to fulfil the growing demand and usage of blockchains across the globe.
Even 100,000 transactions per second would not be sufficient to meet true global demand and adoption." Meanwhile, a recent CoinGeck report found that Singapore is the country most interested in the upcoming Ethereum Merge, followed by Switzerland and Canada, Germany, the United States, and the Netherlands.
The ranking was determined by analyzing the frequency of ten search terms, including “Ethereum Merge,” “ETH Merge,” and “Ethereum PoW,” then combining them for an overall ranking.