The network effectively began transitioning from proof of work to proof of stake at 2:45 a.m. EST, with no hiccups, a historic feat anticipated by the crypto society for over five years.
The upgrade has forever altered both the creation of ETH and the validation of transactions on the Ethereum network. It was previously generated through "mining," an energy-intensive process in which individuals directed massive amounts of computer power at tough puzzles.
Proof of stake is a mechanism that allows individuals and entities to generate new ETH by declaring large amounts of pre-existing ETH. The transition is expected to be quicker, more scalable, and more environmentally sustainable by over 99%.
When its mainnet reached "total terminal difficulty," the predefined point at which mining ETH became practically impossible, the network instantly began transitioning to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm.
In the twelve minutes that preceded, the world and the platform’s core developers waited to see if the network would successfully propose and approve new blocks of transactions using proof of stake.
The shift went off without a hitch in the twelve minutes it took. The Ethereum network only missed one block. After 12 minutes and 48 seconds, corresponding to two epochs (periods of 32 slots each), it effectively met finality—the key metric for determining whether the merge was successful.
During that time, major crypto exchanges such as Binance, FTX, Coinbase, and Kraken temporarily suspended trading for Ethereum-related tokens as a precautionary measure. Trading involving the platform is anticipated to resume on those platforms soon.
In the following moments, core developers commemorated the progress culmination of years of strenuous 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 network currently supports tens of billions of dollars in crypto assets, apps, and decentralized finance systems, each of which shows up to have been harmed by the network's move to proof of stake.
The price fell 0.4% in the time following the merger's completion.
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