The Ethereum Merge Executes Successfully

The Ethereum merge has happened!

At 2:45 am EST, the Ethereum network successfully began its transition from proof of work to proof of stake with no hiccups.

The upgrade has forever changed both how ETH is created and how transactions on the Ethereum network are validated.

Before the merge, ETH was generated by “mining,” an energy-intensive process that requires individuals to direct huge amounts of computer power at difficult-to-solve puzzles.

Proof of stake is a mechanism by which new ETH is instead generated by individuals and entities pledging large amounts of pre-existing ETH.

Proof of stake is thought to be faster, more scalable, and over 99% more environmentally friendly.

The event was triggered by Ethereum’s mainnet hitting “terminal total difficulty,” the predetermined point at which mining ETH became effectively impossible, and the network automatically began transitioning to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.

During the merge, as a precautionary measure, major crypto exchanges including Binance, FTX, Coinbase, and Kraken temporarily paused trading for Ethereum-related tokens, including ETH. Ethereum-impacted trading is expected to resume on those platform.

The merge’s flawless execution represents a historic technical feat that some have analogized to changing the engine of a rocket ship mid-flight.

The Ethereum network currently supports tens of billions of dollars worth of digital assets, apps, and decentralized finance (DeFi) systems, none of which appear to have been adversely affected by the network’s transition to proof of stake.

In moments following the merge’s finalization, ETH’s price dropped 0.4%.

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