On Thursday, September 15, 2022, the Ethereum network finally completed its long-awaited update, The Merge. The Ethereum mainnet execution layer and the Beacon Chain’s consensus layer were combined in the update.

This update marks Ethereum’s shift from its current proof-of-work (PoW) method to the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) system. The network’s move to PoS heralds the start of a new era for the Ethereum blockchain and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.

For the longest time, opponents have lambasted Ethereum for its high carbon footprint due to mining. However, with the shift, the network is predicted to use 99.95% less energy than it did prior.

The creators of Ethereum also said that the update would improve the network’s security and scalability. The Ethereum network supports a $60 billion ecosystem of decentralized applications (dApps), crypto exchanges, non-fungible token (NFT) markets, and other services.

The Merge has been in the works for some years, with Ethereum supporters and detractors alike anticipating the effect it would have on the larger digital asset sector. The Merge, according to Joseph Lubin, CEO of blockchain software technology firm ConsenSys, is the third-most important event in the crypto sector.

Lubin told Bloomberg that The Merge would be “enormously significant” for the whole industry while causing no difficulties for customers or developers on the network. Lubin likened the move to a routine software update that occurs automatically.

Ethereum’s inventor, Vitalik Buterin, praised the update with a tweet shortly after the Merge was completed.

Despite being a critical milestone for the Ethereum ecosystem, the Merge is simply the beginning of a lengthier process. After the Merge, Ethereum will only be roughly 55% complete, according to Vitalik.

Following the successful completion of the Merge, Ethereum will shortly embark on “the Surge, the Verge, the Purge, and the Splurge,” all of which are targeted at improving network efficiency.

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