The Ethereum merge has finally arrived. The Ethereum network successfully transitioned from proof of work to proof of stake at 2:45 a.m. EST, with no hiccups, a historic feat anticipated by the crypto community for over five years.
Ethereum is finnaly ushering in Proof-of-Stake era
The upgrade has forever altered both the creation of ETH and the validation of transactions on the Ethereum network. ETH was previously generated through “mining,” an energy-intensive process in which individuals directed massive amounts of computer power at difficult-to-solve puzzles.
Proof of stake is a mechanism that allows individuals and entities to generate new ETH by pledging large amounts of pre-existing ETH. The transition is expected to be faster, more scalable, and more environmentally friendly by over 99%.
When Ethereum’s mainnet reached “total terminal difficulty,” the predetermined point at which mining ETH became impossible, the network automatically began transitioning to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
In the twelve minutes that followed, the world and Ethereum’s core developers waited to see if the network would successfully propose and approve new blocks of transactions using proof of stake.
The transition didn’t suffered a single hitch
The transition went off without a hitch in those twelve minutes. After 12 minutes and 48 seconds, corresponding to two epochs (periods of 32 slots each), the Ethereum network reached finality—the critical metric for determining whether the merge was successful.
During that time, major crypto exchanges such as Binance, FTX, Coinbase, and Kraken temporarily halted trading for Ethereum-related tokens such as ETH as a precautionary measure. Trading involving Ethereum is expected to resume on those platforms soon.
In the following moments, Ethereum’s core developers celebrated the development—the culmination of years of arduous testing and preparation.
The flawless execution of the merge represents a historic technical feat, which some have compared to changing the engine of a rocket ship in mid-flight. The Ethereum network currently supports tens of billions of dollars in digital assets, apps, and decentralized finance (DeFi) systems, none of which appear to have been harmed by the network’s move to proof of stake.
The price of ETH fell 0.4% following the merge’s completion.