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Merge accomplished: Ethereum moves to PoS - The Cryptonomist

source-logo  en.cryptonomist.ch 15 September 2022 05:53, UTC

Today, 15 September 2022, a date predicted for more than a month, the Ethereum Merge finally took place.

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

So far it seems that everything has gone as planned, and there does not appear to have been any serious hiccups. 

There was only a slight delay of a couple of minutes on the expected timing, but it was known that the time prediction was only an estimate and not an accurate calculation. 

In fact, after the expected timing of the Merge, the price of ETH had dropped from $1,620 to $1,570, perhaps because some uninformed investor or speculator thought the delay might be due to some problem. Instead, yesterday’s timing estimates were just slightly too optimistic. 

After some volatility, once the Merge occurred, the price rose again to $1,650


Ethereum finally moves to PoS thanks to the Merge

Thus, now the validation of blocks on the Ethereum blockchain is no longer done with Proof-of-Work, but with Proof-of-Stake (PoS). 

Thanks to this switch, the block-time, now fixed at 15 seconds, was immediately stabilized: 

The block times of the last 100 blocks!
Amazing stability after the merge! Only 1 missed block.
This is really the best case scenario! pic.twitter.com/dV1PF70vCL

— Martin Köppelmann 🇺🇦 (@koeppelmann) September 15, 2022

In fact, with mining, which is the block validation work with PoW, there is no fixed timing as far as the validation of individual blocks is concerned. Difficulty adjustment is used to make sure that the average remains more or less constant. 

With PoS, on the other hand, mining is not involved, and validation occurs at fixed intervals

Ethereum’s hashrate has collapsed, as it is now of no use. 

It was expected that it could have dropped well before, so much so that longer times for the Merge were expected, but the miners must have pressed their machines to the last second to mine ETH while it was still possible. Now it is no longer possible, and so they had to shut down the machines. 

ETHW and Ethereum’s eventual PoW fork

It should be noted however, that today the price of ETHW, the token that allows one to bet on an eventual PoW fork of Ethereum, rose in value and then fell back a bit. 

This suggests that there are those who believe that some miners may not give up, and may indeed decide to create a new fork from Ethereum to give birth to a kind of “copy” still based on PoW. However, the value of this ETHW is still about one-fortieth of ETH, which is very little. 

In summary, it is possible to say that the chances of survival of an eventual PoW fork of Ethereum remain low, although slightly higher than yesterday. 

Instead, regarding Ethereum’s transition to PoS, which has now taken place and is active, some exchanges as a precaution have decided to wait until they are certain that everything is working properly and is reliable before rehabilitating deposits and withdrawals

So far, no real problems are being reported, so it seems that everything is already working properly. After all, the numerous tests before the Merge had yielded very positive results. Thus, a transition without any particular technical problems was expected. 

The new era of Ethereum

Today, a new era for Ethereum is thus born, as PoS should allow for greater development

A first result has already been achieved: an energy saving of 0.2% globally

"The merge will reduce worldwide electricity consumption by 0.2%" – @drakefjustin

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 15, 2022

According to some estimates, ETH mining alone in the world used to consume about 0.2% of all the electricity produced, and since ETH mining now practically no longer exists, that consumption has been reduced to zero. 

Instead, it will take some time before we can appreciate the other developments made possible on Ethereum by the move to PoS