Ethereum’s most awaited software update The Merge has fianlly happened after years of development and delays. With this Ethereum blockchain has successfully shifted its consensus mechanism to Proof-of-stake (PoS) from the existing Proof-of-work (PoW). The Merge intends to move Ethereum to a more energy-efficient system.
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder and researcher at the Ethereum Foundation along with the core Ethereum developers have been working on the transition diligently for years. He took no time to express his joy and congratulated the community. He tweeted, ‘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 Merge is born throgh integrating Eth1 and Eth2 into a single chain. There are now no longer two distinct Ethereum networks but only Ethereum. According to what the Ethereum Foundation has ensured earlier, The Merge intends to reduce Ethereum’s energy consumption by almost 99.95 percent. This will also set the stage for future scaling upgrade. Merge will now make Ethereum faster and cheaper.
A sweet goodbye to Proof-of-work and why?
Before the Merge, Ethereum was using the same consensus Proof-of-work (PoW) which is used by its competitor Bitcoin as well. But that is a highly energy- intensive way as it requires heavy electricity consumption to process a new transaction on the network.
Proof-of-stake (PoS) is a greater alternative to this problem. It use validators instead of miners. Validator can be anyone with at least 32 ETH available to stake or pledge to the network. It does also allow validators with smaller amounts of ETH to participate through staking pools or cryptocurrency exchanges. This is the way, that Ethereum Foundation, thinks will make its network more than 99 percent energy efficient.
The merge has been preceded by rigorous planning and extensive test runs leading into the event.In December 2021, Vitalik Buterin shared the roadmap of Ethereum protocol development on twitter when it was his birthday. He shared a diagram. According to the roadmap, The Merge, now achieved, is the biggest milestone. It will be followed by The Surge, The Verge, The Plurge and the Splurge.
According to the Ethereum Foundation, The Merge is a change of consensus mechanism. Hence it is not an expansion of network capacity and will not result in lower gas fees. It is also false to say that transactions will be noticeably faster now. Instead, the transaction speed will mostly remain the same on layer1.________________________________________________________
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