- After months in the works, Ethereum’s Merge goes live without hitches.
- The Merge sees the network’s transition to an energy-efficient Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
- Not all entities are pleased with the new feat, with some critics poking holes into the future of Ethereum.
Ethereum’s developers can breathe a sigh of relief after the widely-anticipated Merge event occurred, ushering in an era of energy efficiency and innovative scaling solutions.
On Sept 15, at block 15537393, Ethereum ditched Proof-of-Work (PoW) following the Merge of the Beacon Chain’s consensus layer with the Ethereum mainnet execution layer. The event took place at 6:42 UTC, and at its completion, the second largest network took a giant leap into the future.
The transition has been hailed as slashing the energy consumption rate of the network by as much as 99.9% since barely any computing power will be used to secure the network. Vitalik Buterin and other leading developers stated PoS would improve the scalability and security of the network.
“And we finalized,” tweeted Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder. “Happy merge all. This is a big moment for the Ethereum ecosystem. Everyone who helped make the merge happen should feel very proud today.”
The road to the Merge was anticipated by Google, with the search engine creating a countdown toward the event. On Youtube, nearly 50,000 people watched the “Ethereum Mainnet Merge Viewing Party”, signalling massive interest in the network’s latest iteration.
How it works
Under PoS, the concept of miners will not exist; instead, validators will be tasked with securing the network. The validators are expected to stake a minimum of 32 ETH that operate like a raffle draw. The higher the ETH staked, the higher the chances for the validator to be picked to write a script for a block on the network.
Buterin noted that the Merge is the first in a long line of developments for the Ethereum network, and upon completion, the network will be able to process 100,000 transactions per second. After the Merge, enthusiasts can expect the Surge and the Verge stages, which promise increased scalability and statelessness. The Purge will eliminate historical data and technical debt, while the splurge will introduce a slew of miscellaneous features.
Naysayers can’t dim the lights
Not everyone is pleased with the network’s historic transition to PoS. Miners that have spent thousands of dollars on equipment might be the biggest losers with several PoW hard forks springing up.
PoS critics warn that it could expose the network to new attacks and that the validators will be filled with a few large syndicates with enough funds to buy their way through.