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The Ethereum Merge has happened, which means that the network has fully switched to proof-of-stake (PoS).
At block 15537393 and at the Terminal Total Difficulty of 58750000000000000000000, the long-awaited Merge brought together the Ethereum mainnet execution layer and the Beacon Chain's consensus layer. This means that the network will no longer use a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism.
Based on hourly data from TradingView, the price of Ethereum (ETH) goes up a little after the Merge and is now trading at around $1,635.
The Ethereum Foundation said that the Merge will make the Ethereum network about 99.5% more energy efficient and will set the stage for future scaling solutions, such as sharding.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin celebrated the Merge with a tweet moments after the historical transition happened:
And we finalized!— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 15, 2022
Happy merge all. This is a big moment for the Ethereum ecosystem. Everyone who helped make the merge happen should feel very proud today.
Eli Ben-Sasson, president and co-founder of StarkWare, told Cointelegraph that "the dramatic effect on energy consumption is the most important thing about the Merge right now."
Ben-Sasson said it was also "the first step in a process that will lead to the adoption of Ethereum by a very large number of people."
"It causes a series of changes to happen. The end result will be that Ethereum's computing power will be used in many different ways and the general public will use blockchain-based apps in many different parts of their lives.
The Merge is the result of the Ethereum Foundation's hard work over many years.
.@VitalikButerin claims that #Ethereum will be able to to process "100,000 transactions per second", following the completion of 5 key phases:— Miles Deutscher (@milesdeutscher) July 22, 2022
• The Merge
• The Surge
• The Verge
• The Purge
• The Splurge
A quick breakdown of what each stage means for $ETH. 👇 pic.twitter.com/FnaWww8mHZ
Exchange-traded products (ETPs) based on Ethereum have been busy making their own changes because of the Merge. Bradley Duke, CEO of the European crypto ETP issuer ETC Group, told Cointelegraph that the company has made a "forked version" of their ETH-based ETP in case there is a lot of support for a PoW fork after the Merge.
"If enough people get behind a fork for whatever reason, we think the free market will decide what should live and what shouldn't," Duke said.
"Surge," "Verge," "Purge," and "Splurge" are the last steps on the Ethereum technical roadmap now that "Merge" is done.
The Surge will use sharding to make rollups more scalable, the Verge will use Verkle trees to make rollups stateless, the Purge will get rid of historical data and technical debt, and the Splurge will be a bunch of small upgrades.
One of the biggest changes in blockchain history didn't happen without trouble. A group of proof-of-work miners called ETHW Core said that they would do a hard fork within 24 hours of the Merge.
Beeple, a well-known designer, made a sci-fi drawing to honor the Merge:
THE MERGE pic.twitter.com/7tdfNZiuuv— beeple (@beeple) September 15, 2022
The Ethereum Merge has officially taken place at block 15537393 on Thursday at 06:42:42 UTC, transitioning the network from PoW to PoS.