- The Ethereum Merge is now live.
- The second-largest blockchain network has switched from the PoW mechanism to PoS.
- The community reacts positively to the Ethereum Merge.
Following years of development and unfortunate pushbacks, the cryptocurrency space’s most anticipated event, wherein the second-largest blockchain network, Ethereum, transitions to a new system of processing transactions dubbed “The Merge,” was a success. The event was completed at block height 15537393.
Now that Ethereum has merged its previous Mainnet with the Beacon Chain proof-of-stake system, the Ethereum network employs the proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism from the energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW). This development sets the stage for future scaling upgrades, including sharding.
And we finalized!
Happy merge all. This is a big moment for the Ethereum ecosystem. Everyone who helped make the merge happen should feel very proud today.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 15, 2022
According to the Ethereum team, extensive testing and bug bounties were tackled to ensure the safe transition to proof-of-stake.
The Merge is different from previous network upgrades in two main ways. First, node operators need to update their consensus layer (CL) and execution layer (EL) clients in unison rather than just one of the two.
After the Merge, Ethereum will see a reduced energy consumption of 99.95% and slightly faster transaction speeds. However, the event will not result in a decrease in transaction fees in Ethereum.
Notably, PoW proponents argue that PoS staking has its own centralization and securities issues, which makes it possible for bad actors to directly “buy” control of the network. They also contend that PoS is less reliable than PoW, which has proven resilient as the foundation of Bitcoin and Ethereum networks.
Regardless, optimism among community members spread across the sector, with crypto movers like Erik Voorhees, Billy Markus, and Justin Sun celebrating the merge and congratulating Buterin and the Ethereum team.
Despite the merge and the euphoria that surrounds it, the network’s native token ETH is down by 1.3% to exchange hands at $1,590.