The Ethereum Merge is live, with the Ethereum Network successfully achieving the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) of 58750000000000000000000.
The successful completion of Ethereum’s Merge will have one of the most profound impacts seen on the crypto space.
An Industry-Changing Upgrade
The Merge has long been considered an industry-changing upgrade by the Ethereum community and the larger crypto ecosystem. The upgrade sees Ethereum shift from the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism to the highly efficient Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. Ethereum developers set the ball rolling for the final stage of the Merge on the Ethereum mainnet on the 6th of September, in a closely monitored process. The upgrade is critical as the shift to Proof-of-Stake will reduce Ethereum’s energy consumption by 99%.
Ethereum is one of the pillars of the crypto space, with its native ETH token established as the second most popular cryptocurrency. ETH’s value has seen a stunning increase, with its market capitalization crossing $100 billion. Meanwhile, the Ethereum blockchain has emerged as the go-to blockchain for developers creating decentralized applications.
Understanding The Merge
The Merge sees the Ethereum blockchain finally achieve its target of significantly higher scalability, greater security, and cutting down on its high energy use. The Merge, part of a multi-year transition designed for the Ethereum blockchain, could also have larger repercussions for the crypto ecosystem. Officially, the Merge began in 2020 with the launch of the Beacon Chain, a Proof-of-Stake version of the Ethereum blockchain, although the primary Proof-of-Work blockchain was also functional at this point.
With the successful implementation of the Merge, Proof-of-Work on Ethereum has officially ended, with the blockchain finally completing its transition to Proof-of-stake.
The Post Merge Ethereum
Post Merge, the Ethereum blockchain will be a Proof-of-Stake blockchain. The development team will reduce mining rewards, making mining an unattractive prospect. With the Merge completed, Ethereum will rely on validators instead of miners to run the blockchain. Each validator will be required to stake 32 ETH to support the functioning of the blockchain and earn rewards for securing the blockchain.
While a hugely significant milestone for Ethereum, the Merge is only the halfway mark on Ethereum’s transition, according to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. The next goal for Ethereum is sharding, which will look to significantly improve scalability by splitting the main chain into parallel portions.
Reactions Begin Pouring In
Understandably, with the scale of the operation involving the Merge and Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake, the crypto ecosystem’s excitement cannot be understated. Several prominent members of the crypto ecosystem shared their delight about the Merge going live. Founder of ShapeShift, Eric Voorhees, called the Merge the most significant event in crypto after the Bitcoin whitepaper.
“After Bitcoin’s whitepaper release, Ethereum’s Merge is the most consequential event in crypto’s history. It happens in less than 24 hrs. I feel awe and gratitude toward the beautiful minds that enabled both of these events.”
Stripe CEO Patrick Collison called the Merge one of the best examples of open-source development, stating,
“Excited about The Merge! One of the coolest examples of sustained, ambitious, technically difficult open source development. Congratulations and good luck to @VitalikButerin and to the Ethereum community.”
Independent Ethereum educator and angel investor @sassal0x called the Merge a historic day and occasion for the Ethereum community, tweeting,
“Today will be a historic day not only for Ethereum but for all of crypto. My biggest thanks goes out to the hundreds of people that worked tirelessly to make The Merge a reality - ya’ll are the real MVPs. Now, let’s merge.”
“Within 10 years, the merge will be but a distant memory most future users of Ethereum and L2s will never have known it as anything other than a Proof of Stake network, and ETH will be the most important decentralized asset in the world, used for a variety of financial purposes.”
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.