The Ethereum Merge has officially taken place, marking the full transition of the network to proof-of-stake (PoS).
On Sept. 15 at 06:42:42 UTC at block 15,537,393, the long-awaited Merge saw the merging of the Ethereum mainnet execution layer and the Beacon Chain’s consensus layer at the Terminal Total Difficulty of 58,750,000,000,000,000,000,000, meaning the network will no longer rely on a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism.
Ether’s (ETH) price got a slight pump following the Merge in hourly metrics, currently trading at around $1,635, according to data from TradingView.
The Ethereum Foundation said the Merge will make the Ethereum network about 99.95% more energy efficient and will set the stage for future scaling solutions, including sharding.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin celebrated the Merge with a tweet moments after the historical transition happened:
Speaking to Cointelegraph, StarkWare president and co-founder Eli Ben-Sasson said that “the immediate importance of the Merge is the dramatic effect on energy consumption.”
Ben-Sasson said it also marks “the first step in a process that will lead to exceedingly widespread adoption of Ethereum,” stating:
“It starts a chain reaction of changes. The end result will be the very broad use of Ethereum’s computing power and the general population using blockchain-based apps in many different areas of life.”
The Merge has come on the back of several years of hard work from the Ethereum Foundation.
Businesses that issue Ethereum-based exchange-traded products (ETPs) have been busy making their own adjustments about the Merge. Bradley Duke, CEO of the European crypto ETP issuer ETC Group, explained to Cointelegraph that the company has prepared a “forked version” of its ETH-based ETP in case there’s significant support for a PoW fork after the Merge.
“If enough people get behind a fork for whatever reason, we feel the free market will decide on what should live and what should not,” Duke added.
With the Merge complete, the “Surge,” “Verge,” “Purge” and “Splurge” are the final stages left on the Ethereum technical roadmap.
The Surge will increase scalability for rollups through sharding; the Verge will achieve statelessness through Verkle trees; the Purge will eliminate historical data and technical debt; and the Splurge will involve a number of small miscellaneous upgrades.
One of the biggest transitions in the history of blockchain didn’t go without opposition. ETHW Core, a group representing proof-of-work miners, announced that it will conduct a hard fork within 24 hours after the Merge.
Renowned designer Beeple celebrated the Merge with a sci-fi illustration: