Ethereum’s Biggest Problem Is Being Fixed With “The Merge”
The Ethereum blockchain is home to the second most valuable cryptocurrency, the Ether (ETH), as well as many other cryptos and, more recently, NFTs. It’s also been a source of (well-deserved) criticism because of its high energy usage, but that should change soon.
“The Merge” is happening today (September 14), and it will transition Ethereum’s consensus mechanism from its current proof-of-work scheme to proof-of-stake. It’s not happening at a specific time, but rather, it’s scheduled to happen whenever the blockchain reaches a specific Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) number. That’s a value that represents the cumulative difficulty of all Ethereum blocks ever mined, and it’s set at 58750000 P. That value should be reached either tonight or very early tomorrow. You can see an exact countdown, based on network conditions, here.
The transition to proof-of-stake means the network will move away from using computationally-intensive mining to verify transactions, and it will shift to using validators staking their own cryptocurrency to verify transactions instead. In other words, Ethereum mining is dead. Proof-of-stake is already used by blockchains such as Cardano, Solana, and Polygon.
The fact that Ethereum won’t use mining anymore…
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