Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, has converted to proof-of-stake, which has reduced its energy requirements. The move, which has been in the works since 2016, will have little impact on the typical Ethereum user, but it will put miners out of work.
The Bellatrix upgrade was enabled on September 6th, kicking off the transition. It is now finished after the extraction of the Terminal Total Difficulty block, which triggered the Paris upgrade. The technical component is complete; now we can wait and see what happens.
And we finalized!
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.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 15, 2022
Bugs, hacks, and price volatility are all possible in the next hours and days. There is also the potential of forks, which occur when miners on separate chains generate numerous copies of Ether, causing confusion and an atmosphere ideal for fraud.
Prior to the Merge, Ethereum was based on proof-of-work, in which computers all over the globe competed to solve problems in order to add a new block to the chain. Because all of these miners were striving to solve the riddle at the same moment, but only one could win, all other energy was squandered. Validators in proof of stake, on the other hand, have put up their Ethereum as collateral. They will lose the Ethereum they staked if they misbehave.
According to the Ethereum Foundation, the conversion will save more than 99 percent on energy expenditures. Since 2017, the Merge has been continuously postponed, prompting jokes that it is vaporware. Until it delivers, everything is vaporware.