• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Ethereum finally migrates to a proof of stake after completing the Merge

The Ethereum network has finally switched to a Proof of Stake (PoS) protocol after the Merge was successfully executed a few hours ago.

The Ethereum Merge is one of the most highly anticipated events in the cryptocurrency space this year. The event was successfully completed a few hours ago after the network reached “terminal total difficulty” earlier on Thursday.

At 2:45 am EST, the Ethereum blockchain successfully began its transition from PoW to PoS. This is a historical achievement that the Ethereum community has been working on over the last five years. 

The upgrade has now changed how ETH tokens are created and how transactions on the Ethereum blockchain are validated.

Prior to the Merge, ETH was generated via mining, which is an energy-consuming process where miners direct huge amounts of computational power to solve difficult puzzles. 

In the proof of stake mechanism, new ETH would be generated by individuals or entities dedicating large amounts of pre-existing ETH tokens.

With the transition to the proof of stake protocol, the Ethereum blockchain is expected to be faster, more scalable, and over 99% more environmentally friendly.

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, pointed out that the Merge will reduce worldwide electricity consumption by 0.2%. This is a substantial amount and could prompt a few other PoW blockchains to transition to PoS. 

The Merge was executed after the Ethereum mainnet hit “terminal total difficulty.” this is the predetermined point where Ether mining became effectively impossible. The network automatically transitioned to a PoS mechanism after the difficulty terminal was reached. 

The Ethereum core developers kept an eye on the network after the  “terminal total difficulty” was achieved to see if the network would start successfully proposing and approving new blocks of transactions via PoS. 

The transition went off without a hitch for the first twelve minutes, with the Ethereum network missing just one block. After 12 minutes and 48 seconds (a period known as two epochs), the Ethereum network successfully reached finality, a key benchmark that helps to determine whether the Merge had succeeded or not. 

Ether is still trading below $1,600 despite the completion of the Merge a few hours ago. 

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