Image: ethereum.org

Ethereum has confirmed that The Merge is now complete, switching the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency from a proof-of-work to proof-of-stake model, lowering its energy demands significantly. The amount of energy consumption that will be reduced thanks to the transition is ~99.95%, according to an announcement from ethereum.org, the official portal for the cryptocurrency.

From the ethereum.org:

  • Ethereum Mainnet uses proof-of-stake, but this wasn’t always the case.
  • The upgrade from the original proof-of-work mechanism to proof-of-stake was called The Merge.
  • The Merge refers to the original Ethereum Mainnet merging with a separate proof-of-stake blockchain called the Beacon Chain, now existing as one chain.
  • The Merge reduced Ethereum’s 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. It eliminated the need for energy-intensive mining and instead enabled the the network to be secured using staked ETH. It was a truly exciting step in realizing the Ethereum vision—more scalability, security, and sustainability.

Initially, the Beacon Chain shipped separately from Mainnet. Ethereum Mainnet – with all it’s 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. The Merge was when these two systems finally came together, and proof-of-work was permanently replaced by proof-of-stake.

Imagine Ethereum is a spaceship that launched before it was quite ready for an interstellar voyage. With the Beacon Chain, the community built a new engine and a hardened hull. After significant testing, it became time to hot-swap the new engine for the old one mid-flight. This merged the new, more efficient engine into the existing ship enabling it to put in some serious lightyears and take on the universe.

The Merge doesn’t change much for the average Ethereum user, but in addition to the reduced energy demands, miners have effectively been sidelined with the transition to proof-of-stake, whereby blocks are validated based on the number of coins that a validator stakes. Gas fees, another complaint, are still being addressed.

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20 comments

  1. I haven't really kept my finger on the pulse, as I kinda hope Crypto dies in a hot mess of fire

    But prices have been way down and very obviously the mining boom that had sucked up all the GPUs has relented over the past .. 8 months or so.

    So - will this have a significant impact on anything, or is it just ho-hum and it's all headed down the toilet anyway?
  2. I guess there are always other coins that could be mined - from what I gather that was (and presumably still will be) common practice, so I wouldn't say this is a final nail in any coffin...


    ... but I won't lie, I hope it is at least ~a nail~ in a coffin.
  3. Crypto is dead for the time being. The market isn’t done going down and with the Fed tightening now there’s no more stimulus coming to keep people pumping it. The serious investors are looking for solid companies with decent free cash flow, not speculative junk.
  4. Crypto isn't dead. Mining isn't dead. It's in a down turn. If you haven't noticed the stock market is a complete poo-show as well. Everything is down. Bad.
    Says the biggest miner we have on this forum. You'll pardon me if I find your statement more hopeful and self serving than based on fact... I hope.
  5. Yeah mining isn't going away, will just pivot to other types. But none of the alts are nearly as profitable as ETH though.

    My co-worker buddy dropped a ton of cash on his mining rig, and he just barely broke even after 2 years bc the GPUs were so stupidly expensive. I might consider buying one of his 3080ti's if he goes low enough.
  6. Says the biggest miner we have on this forum. You'll pardon me if I find your statement more hopeful and self serving than based on fact... I hope.

    Pssst....your ignorance is showing.
  7. And if 8 cards makes me the biggest miner here.... Jesus Lord, that's pathetic. My almost 6 year old cards have paid for themselves about 30 times over. Funny that i can still get money for them. A 1080ti still games pretty dang good.
  8. I don't have anything against anyone mining with their gaming rig, or spare cards, out of their house for some extra cash.

    There are two things I take issue with though:

    People who are buying stuff in bulk - these are the folks who are looking at upgrading their house electrical serivces because they maxed out their 200A service in their garage. They get boxes of GPUs out the back door of Best Buy -- or in even worse cases, are buying in big enough they just get pallets straight from the AIB or nVidia. This isn't people just using their gaming rig or old spare gear, these are people who are actively destroying the rest of the gaming community for profit.

    The folks who try to talk other people into investing their money. It's one thing to do what you want with your own money, but to actively try to recruit other people out there to throw their own money at it - that's .... irresponsible. I've had a lot of folks I know lose a lot of money over this. Now, this applies to any investment advice - people should know better than to just listen to their buddies and go throw their entire 401K at something (and lose it all), but it happens. I feel sorry for the folks that fall for it, but I do recognize the flip side of that coin is "They shoulda known better". For the people giving out that advice - it's entirely self serving, because I feel they are trying to just legitimize their own investments and further propogate and legitimize the use of Crypto. It's a very luring song to hear about how someone is earning $xx dollars per day doing nothing but running a program on their computer - but that is far from the same thing as dumping your entire 401K into a cyrpto portfolio. You can be pro-crypto without attempting to get other people to drink the koolaid.

    Not accusing anyone here of doing either of those things though - to be clear. There are folks here that happen to mine, and from what I understand of it, they are cool in my book. And I don't see anyone out here shilling for folks to go dump their life savings into a crypto wallet - although I hope we are all saavy enough here to realize that we shouldn't blindly take investment advice from random internet folks.
  9. And if 8 cards makes me the biggest miner here.... Jesus Lord, that's pathetic. My almost 6 year old cards have paid for themselves about 30 times over. Funny that i can still get money for them. A 1080ti still games pretty dang good.
    You're right... the most vocal. And about my ignorance I would have hoped the ... I hope showed I know I was most likely incorrect. But one can still hope. ;)
  10. And if 8 cards makes me the biggest miner here.... Jesus Lord, that's pathetic. My almost 6 year old cards have paid for themselves about 30 times over. Funny that i can still get money for them. A 1080ti still games pretty dang good.
    If making a profit was justification for doing something we'd all be scammers and robbers.
  11. If making a profit was justification for doing something we'd all be scammers and robbers.
    Que?

    Do you not make a profit off of your work? Does the business you work for not make a profit? If making a profit wasn't a justification for doing something we'd pretty much have nothing in this world.
  12. Says the biggest miner we have on this forum. You'll pardon me if I find your statement more hopeful and self serving than based on fact... I hope.
    Can confirm, he's not the biggest miner on the forums here 👀
  13. If making a profit was justification for doing something we'd all be scammers and robbers.
    Madmummy is right, there is nothing inherently wrong with turning a profit. It's just that all profit comes at the expense of something else - most of that is benign and just part of making the world go around, but there are some moral and/or legal situations that people should just stay away from.

    My personal issue with mining, and crypto in general - you never, never get something for nothing. And since I can't understand where all this money is coming from, I stay away from it. From the way that I understand it (which may be flawed, I admit) - it certainly seems like a giant pyramid scheme: there's a bit of seed money, that gets thrown around as other people invest - then when the rug gets pulled out from the whole thing a lot of people will just be assed out. And amazingly, the people who ponied up the seed money probably aren't going to be the ones to get assed out.
  14. The value of anything comes from supply, demand and what someone is willing to pay.
    Very true, I'm not willing to pay anything for a digital certificate with no other redeeming purpose or value.
  15. The value of anything comes from supply, demand and what someone is willing to pay.
    Except with crypto the demand is artificial, there is really no need or practical use for it. Not even frivolous use, as you can't make a necklace out of crypto. My problem with crypto is not that someone makes a profit on it, it is the pointless nature of it. They say let your money do the work for you, which is all and well if you invest your money into real companies making real products. The only work crypto does is syphoning away resources into a bottomless pit.

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