IE wrote earlier this month that the second biggest cryptocurrency in the world, Ethereum, is now choosing to go green. In a system switchover known as 'The Ethereum Merge'– or more simply known as 'The Merge'- the digital currency is about to use a new operating model that uses 99.9% less energy.
Now the final stage of The Merge is almost here, with many platforms suspending all transfers and withdrawals associated with Ethereum until a 'safe point' has been reached.
Still, in the countdown to what might feel like limbo, IE takes a look at how The Merge is being viewed by the rest of the world- well at least those who care about it. Additionally, IE discusses a few 'big' questions and misconceptions circulating around the switch.
According to a report by CoinGecko, there is a lot of excitement in the Ethereum community. The report found that interest was highest in Singapore, which has a score of 377. Switzerland tied second with Canada with a score of 286.
On Reddit, a thread dedicated to The Merge is largely positive.
One person posted that it felt like they had been waiting for it forever like a kid on Christmas eve. Another one posted that 70% of ETH holds would soon be billionaires.
Still, other users are not so hopeful with one commenting about ending up homeless.
In general, there is very little apprehension regarding The Merge. A major reason for this is that it runs on open-source code which seemingly provides transparency for users. This allows users to view, and edit the code in a way that would have a net positive impact on the Ethereum ecosystem.
According to a tweet by Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum, The Merge will occur any time between September 13 and 15, 2022. A countdown clock by Google shows The Merge will occur at around 10 PM PT time, Wednesday, September 14, 2022. A simple type of 'Ethereum Merge" into Google will show this countdown.
Still, it is not the be-all and end-all many imagine it to be. In a recent Youtube video, Buterin reveals that The Merge will happen over subsequent phases called "the Surge, the Verge, the Purge, and the Splurge”. By the end, Ethereum will be able to process 100,000 transactions per second.
Those new to crypto might fear their crypto will disappear or become worthless. However, according to Ethereum.org, all transactions are going to be preserved. The site explains that the Mainnet- a blockchain that performs the functionality of transferring a digital currency from a sender to a recipient- will merge with the 'Beacon Chain.' And with it, the entire transactional history of Ethereum.
Once The Merge occurs, Ethereum will move from its costly and energy-intensive proof of work model. It will be a more eco-friendly and sustainable mode. It will also make it easier to make other scalability upgrades, which are impossible with the existing Proof of Work (PoW) model.
There are risks, which critics have pointed out. If it does not go as planned, over $196 billion- Ethereum's fully diluted market cap as of the time of writing- could disappear in minutes.
It would be the biggest wealth wipeout in recorded history in minutes if that does occur. This could occur due to unforeseen bugs in the blockchain. A good example of these issues is the Solana blockchain, which has recently suffered numerous outages.
There is also the question of security, with critics claiming it is less secure. It is provable if someone engaged in scandalous activity, and his or her crypto could be slashed and disappear forever. The result is that there is a major financial deterrent from engaging in scandalous activity. This is unlike a PoW model where one only needs enough computing power. If they fail, there are no follow-up consequences for them. Consequently, proponents claim it is safer than Proof of Work.
The crypto sector is currently in a 'bear' run. Just one of many cryptocurrency terms, 'bear' refers to a period where prices are going down. Once the Merge happens, it could cause a small price bump from the excitement around it. However, it will eventually die out.
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