The Ethereum upgrade will not only remove the miners who drove the blockchain in the past, but it also promises huge environmental benefits. After years of delay and development, the massive overhaul of Ethereum, also known as The Merge, has finally taken place. It moved the digital machinery that powers the second-largest cryptocurrency into a much more efficient system.
It was not an easy task to swap out proof of work for proof of-stake. Justin Drake, a researcher at Ethereum Foundation and CoinDesk before the Merge, said that the metaphor he uses is the idea of switching out an engine for a running car. It’s like switching from gasoline to electric, I like to think about it that way.
Ethereum Merge Main goal was to move from proof of work to proof of stake
Potentially, the payoff could be huge. Ethereum should now use 99.9% less energy. According to one estimate, it looks like Finland has suddenly turned off its power supply.
The developers of Ethereum claim that the upgrade will make Ethereum’s network, which hosts a $60 Billion ecosystem, including cryptocurrency exchanges, lending firms, marketplaces for non-fungible tokens (NFT), and other apps, more secure and scalable.
From the beginning, the idea that Ethereum would eventually switch to proof of-stake was clear. The transition was a complex technical effort, and many people doubted that it would ever happen.
Drake stated that there is a part in me that doesn’t fully realize this is happening. “I am somewhat in denial because I have trained myself to expect it to happen in future,” Drake said.
Over 41,000 people tuned in to YouTube for an “Ethereum Mainnet Merge Watching Party” when the Merge kicked off at 2:43 AM EST. As key metrics began to trickle in, they waited with great anticipation. This indicated that Ethereum’s core systems were intact. The Merge was completed after around 15 minutes. This could mean that it can be declared a success.
For the potential impact on the wider blockchain industry, crypto enthusiasts, investors and skeptics have closely followed the update. It ends the network’s dependence on cryptocurrency mining which is energy-intensive.
Mark Cuban watched the merge happen
Mark Cuban, an investor and billionaire owner the Dallas Mavericks basketball club, said to CoinDesk that he would “watch [the Merge] like everyone else” and pointed out that it might make , the network’s native cryptocurrency,.
ETH, which has a market value of close to $200 billion, was trading at $1632 in the immediate aftermath of the Merge. This is a decrease of 0.4% from the previous 24 hours.
Complexity of the update was exacerbated by the fact it may have been the most complex open-source software project in history. It required coordination among dozens of teams as well as scores of volunteers, researchers, and developers.
Tim Beiko, an Ethereum foundation developer, played a crucial role in the coordination of the update. He said to CoinDesk that “I think it can genuinely get those who were interested but skeptical about the environmental impacts to come and try it.”