Ethereum, a popular cryptocurrency blockchain has completed its long-awaited switch to proof-of-stake known as ‘The Merge’, the transition which reduced energy consumption to 99.9 percent.
According to the Ethereum foundation blog, the proof-of-stake mechanism radically changes how the Ethereum blockchain works. It eliminates the need for mining new blocks as the network is now secured using staked ETH and validators.
“Happy merge all. This is a big moment for the Ethereum ecosystem. Everyone who helped make The Merge happen should feel very proud today,” Vitalik Buterin, co-founder at Ethereum said on Twitter.
However, for Ethereum users, things aren’t going to change drastically as it’s an infrastructure upgrade. Addresses, wallets, and transactions will still work like before.
But the fact that the Ethereum blockchain consumes a lot less electricity is incredible news already. Many developers will now focus on roll-up contracts to reduce transaction costs and enable scalability.
Ethereum originally launched a separate proof-of-stake Beacon Chain on December 1, 2020. which was running in parallel with the main Ethereum blockchain.
Previously, the Ethereum blockchain relied on proof-of-work, a consensus mechanism that requires a lot of computational effort from all the decentralized nodes participating in the blockchain.
In addition, on September 6, 2022, the Ethereum community released the Bellatrix upgrade in order to start ‘The Merge’ process. With this first upgrade, the community decided to swap the proof-of-work chain with this proof-of-stake chain upon hitting a certain Total Terminal Difficulty (TTD) value on the original Ethereum blockchain.