Recently, you may have heard some chatter about something called the Merge. As the future of web3 and crypto unfolds, the Merge will be remembered as a pivotal and historical event that changed the crypto community forever.
What is “the Merge”?
The Merge joined the original layer of Ethereum (Mainnet) with its new proof-of-stake layer, the Beacon Chain. It eliminated the need for energy-intensive mining and instead enabled the the network to be secured using staked ETH. To quote ethereum.org: “It was a truly exciting step in realizing the Ethereum vision—more scalability, security, and sustainability.”
Initially, the Beacon Chain was shipped separately from Mainnet. Ethereum Mainnet - with all its accounts, balances, smart contracts, and blockchain state - continued to be secured by proof-of-work, even while the Beacon Chain ran in parallel using proof-of-stake. More on that below!
The Merge was when these two systems finally came together, and proof-of-work was permanently replaced by proof-of-stake 🤝
Does the Merge make Ethereum more efficient?
One of the biggest improvements the Merge created was the beginning of a more sustainable, eco-friendly Ethereum. Ethereum's energy consumption dropped by an estimated 99.95%, making Ethereum a green blockchain.
What does the Merge mean for you?
The good news is: you do not need to do anything with your funds or wallet with regards to the Merge.
The Merge NFTs:
To commemorate the Merge, a variety of designers and developers created commemorative NFTs—we’ve selected a few of our favorites to showcase below 👇
These collectibles honor all of the hard work that went into the merge and celebrate the future potential of a more efficient and environmentally-friendly Ethereum network.
ConsenSys, one of the first ever companies founded to provide Ethereum applications, created several editions of artwork celebrating different aspects of the Merge: sustainability, scalability, and security.
The artwork has a retro-futurist feel, invoking the same look and feel as the imagery created in the 1970s by Rick Guidice for NASA.
VV stands for Visualize Value, a project by Jack Butcher that brings complex concepts from the technology industry to life in a signature white-on-black minimalist style.
A fully on-chain and soulbound NFT that transformed over the process of The Merge. Created by Michael Blau (x0r) and Mason Hall a partner at a16z Crypto. These NFTs will last as long as Ethereum lasts, and because they are soulbound, holders cannot transfer or sell them.
The Merge | ethereum.org
The Merge was executed on September 15, 2022. This completed Ethereum's transition to proof-of-stake consensus, officially deprecating proof-of-work and reducing energy consumption by ~99.95%. The Merge was the joining of the original execution layer of Ethereum (the Mainnet that has existed since genesis) with its new proof-of-stake consensus layer, the Beacon Chain.
Proof-of-stake (PoS) | ethereum.org
Proof-of-stake (PoS) underlies Ethereum's consensus mechanism. Ethereum switched on its proof-of-stake mechanism in 2022 because it is more secure, less energy-intensive, and better for implementing new scaling solutions compared to the previous proof-of-work architecture. To better understand this page, we recommend you first read up on consensus mechanisms. Proof-of-stake underlies certain consensus mechanisms used by blockchains to achieve distributed consensus.
Proof-of-work (PoW) | ethereum.org
The Ethereum network began by using a consensus mechanism that involved Proof-of-work (PoW) . This allowed the nodes of the Ethereum network to agree on the state of all information recorded on the Ethereum blockchain and prevented certain kinds of economic attacks. However, Ethereum switched off proof-of-work in 2022 and started using proof-of-stake instead.