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The Ethereum Merge has officially occurred, completing the network's move to proof-of-stake (PoS).
At block 15537393 on September 15 at 6:42:42 UTC, the long-awaited Merge saw the merging of the Ethereum mainnet execution layer and the Beacon Chain's consensus layer at a Terminal Total Difficulty of 58750000000000000000000, meaning the network will no longer rely on a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism.
According to statistics from TradingView, the Ethereum (ETH) price experiences a modest increase following the Merge in hourly metrics, now trading at roughly $1,635.
According to the Ethereum Foundation, the Merge will make the Ethereum network about 99.5% more energy efficient and pave the way for future scaling options, such as sharding.
Eli Ben-Sasson, president and co-founder of StarkWare, told Cointelegraph that “the immediate significance of the Merge is the huge influence on energy usage.”
Ben-Sasson stated that this is the “initial step in a process that will lead to the mainstream acceptance of Ethereum.”
“It initiates a cascade of changes. The eventual consequence will be widespread usage of Ethereum’s computational power and widespread adoption of blockchain-based applications by the general populace.
The Merge is the culmination of many years of labor by the Ethereum Foundation.
The Ethereum-based exchange-traded products (ETPs) issuers have been busy implementing their own modifications in response to the Merge. Bradley Duke, CEO of the European crypto ETP issuer ETC Group, told Cointelegraph that the firm had developed a “forked version” of its ETH-based ETP if there is enough support for a PoW fork following the Merge.
Duke continued, “We believe the free market will decide what lives and what dies if a sufficient number of individuals choose to use a fork for whatever reason.”
“Surge,” “Verge,” “Purge,” and “Splurge” are the next phases on the Ethereum technical roadmap, following the completion of “Merge.”
The Surge will boost rollup scalability through sharding, the Verge will accomplish statelessness with Verkle trees, the Purge will reduce historical data and technical debt, and the Splurge will entail a variety of small random enhancements.
One of the most significant revolutions in blockchain history did not occur without controversy. A group representing proof-of-work miners, ETHW Core, has declared that they would perform a hard fork within 24 hours after the Merge.
The renowned designer Beeple created a sci-fi image to commemorate the Merge.
The Ethereum Merge occurred at block 15537393 on Thursday at 06:42:42 UTC, changing the network from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake.