As of September 6, Ethereum has successfully upgraded with their Bellatrix merge. Ethereum is the world’s leading blockchain for NFTs (non-fungible tokens), making The Merge the largest and most important event to the crypto industry this year. The Merge is a part of ETH 2.0, which has gained mass amounts of attention and anticipation since the Ethereum Foundation announced the upgrade news in December 2020.

The Ethereum Merge is great news for the crypto industry and the environment. The Merge is set to change the transactional crypto process by reducing gas fees, as well as reducing energy expenditure from worldwide servers, which the foundation estimates will be 99.95% less than before. In order to do so, Ethereum is moving away from the energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) system, and into the more green-friendly, time efficient, and financially favorable proof-of-stake (PoS).

To understand The Merge better, let’s define these crypto terms. Gas refers to required transactional fees in order to undergo and complete digital transfers. PoW and PoS are systems that the Ethereum Network executes through consensus mechanisms. A ,consensus mechanism is made up of consensus protocols and algorithms, which work to govern the blockchain and allow for proper, secure, anti-hackable, and smooth functioning networks and transactions.

,Ethereum defines PoW as “the mechanism that allows the decentralized Ethereum network to come to consensus, or agree on things like account balances and the order of transactions,” which ensures the blockchain’s security and works to prevent hacking.

However, Ethereum will now transition to the ,PoS system instead—also a consensus mechanism—which the foundation claims will implement a number of improvements. PoS will be more energy efficient, maintain a higher level of decentralization, and financially penalize hackers while protecting its community.

We will keep our pulse on what will happen after The Merge is finally completed, but with all technological advancements, there are risks and hesitation. ,Cryptocurrency reports that the downfalls of ETH 2.0 can consist of blockchain crashes, a market crash, and the continuation of system hacking. Writer Darius McQuaid suggests, “people should be aware that scammers could take advantage of people through AirDrop or support scams, while the status of NFTs on the new version of the system could be exploited to swindle people out of their money.”

Following the now completed Bellatrix upgrade, the blockchain will now undergo the final stage which consists of the Georli Testnet merge. The Merge is set to be finalized between September 10 and 20.

Edited by Samantha Fencil, Editor-in-Chief

Layout by Rebecca Katherine Levenson, Publisher

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