Ethereum has officially finished The Merge after a number of setbacks and nearly continual uncertainty. The second-largest cryptocurrency in the world has converted to the proof-of-stake mechanism, which reduces the energy required by the blockchain by 99%. Although there may be some difficult moments as the market adjusts to such a significant change, this appears to be a victory for practically everyone. Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, emphasized that The Merge alone will reduce global energy consumption by 0.2 percent.
When the “Bellatrix upgrade” was implemented earlier this month, Ethereum began to move toward The Merge. Once the final block was located and the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) reached 58,750,000,000T, the switch was made. That occurred early on September 15, which precipitated the switch to proof-of-stake.
Proof-of-work models need miners to perform ever-more-complex calculations in order to validate transactions on the blockchain. They are rewarded for doing so with a little sum of cryptocurrency. As the blockchain transitions to proof-of-stake, miners change into “minters” who maintain it by holding Ethereum. The amount of ETH a node holds and how long it has had it impact the minting rate. This strategy is viewed as being more environmentally friendly because it doesn’t waste energy by continuously burning through video cards.
Another potential benefit is that purchasing video cards may become simpler. Although the recent collapse in cryptocurrency prices has made GPUs considerably more affordable, this could alter if prices rise once more. The need to purchase rack after rack of GPUs is eliminated when converting cryptocurrencies like Ethereum to proof-of-stake.
However, not everyone is pleased with the shift, particularly those who have recently spent millions of dollars on mining equipment. The Ethereum blockchain will undergo a “hard fork,” as some miners have declared. All ETH-backed tokens, NFTs, DApps, and liquidity pools are included in the EthereumPoW (ETHW) project, but it will go on with the proof-of-work architecture. This initiative may or may not be effective, but a number of exchanges and cryptocurrency companies are supporting it.
When The Merge went into effect, Ethereum’s price decreased by around 10%, but it has remained constant all day. With so many miners being displaced, it’s possible that some of them will switch to other cryptocurrencies that still rely on proof-of-work. Popular mineable currency like Bitcoin and Dogecoin have so far either remained flat or decreased following The Merge.