Ethereum Integration is Finally Completed

AAfter eight years of delay, the Ethereum blockchain has switched to a new method of verifying transactions, known as Proof of Stake. The technical upgrade, called the merger, was completed in the early hours of Thursday morning. This significantly reduces the amount of energy used by the network and sets the stage for Ethereum to lower its fees and massively expand its user base.

“It’s hard to compare it to the day it started in 2015, but it could be more significant,” said Joe Lubin, a co-founder of Ethereum and the founder of the blockchain company Consensys. “It’s basically going to take us to an infinite-transaction-per-second throughput architecture…It’s going to be internet-scale very soon.”

Read more: Why Ethereum Merge Matters

Although various experts and speculators predicted that the merger would send the price of Ether soaring or falling, prices remained relatively flat during the Asian trading day.

The success of the merger (so far) serves as an ideological victory for Ethereum and its decentralized structure. The network has no board of directors or CEO, but rather a group of dispersed developers and engineers working together from around the world. Leaderless collaboration is a core tenet of blockchains, and Ethereum developers have proven their ability to self-organize and thoroughly push toward a massively technically challenging update over the years.

The integration is designed so that Ethereum users themselves do not need to do anything: their accounts will be updated automatically. Several scams have proliferated over the past few months online that have prompted Ether holders to “upgrade” their software, when they are simply trying to steal funds. On Thursday morning, the developers signaled that the merger had taken place do a littleif whatevermajor bugs.

Many environmentalists applauded the decision. Ethereum’s previous method of securing the blockchain, known as Proof of Work, used enormous amounts of energy: Last week, the White House released a report on the impact on the crypto environment, saying that the crypto-asset activity in the US has been compared to the country’s greenhouse gas. emissions from railroad diesel fuel. The move to Proof of Stake, according to the report, could “significantly reduce total power consumption to less than 1% of today’s levels.”

Beeple, who is perhaps the best-known NFT artist, recalls the fusion in a piece of artwork:

One of the losers in this transition: Proof of Work miners who perform energy-intensive processes in large data centers. They invested in equipment that is now useless. As a result, some of those miners started their own token, called ETHW, which still runs on Proof of Work. While much of the Ethereum community has rejected the legitimacy of the alternative blockchain, it still attracts some day traders hoping to make a quick profit from the activity. The price of that token doubled in value shortly after the merger, before falling back down.

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