Ethereum’s Merge is Coming and the Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher


Cryptocurrency holders are eager to see the end of May, a month that has brought nothing but losses. And while it’s too early to tell if the worst is over (Bitcoin is below $30,000 right now and could go down), it looks like the industry will. weathered the recession very well. As long as the Ethereum merger goes well, that is.

If you’ve been living under a crypto rock, “the fusion” refers to the long-awaited upgrade of the Ethereum blockchain that will see the number 2 cryptocurrency change to a proof of stake model, a change should remove concerns about the environmental impact of Ethereum and dramatically improve your transaction speed.

The Merge is the last name (the previous it was ethereum 2.0) for a process that has been underway for years and has been delayed more times than you can count. But top Ethereum authorities, including co-founder Vitalik Buterin, now say the event will take place. in August when the beacon chain (a parallel Ethereum blockchain that serves as proof for proof of stake) will merge with the main Ethereum chain.

They better be right. Crypto is in dire need of a win right now, and Ethereum achieving the biggest upgrade in blockchain history would provide it. It would show that the Ethereum community, which has a reputation for being friendly but frivolous, is capable of doing serious business. It could also trigger a major ETH price rally.

While the chances of Ethereum pulling off the merger look promising, there is also cause for concern. Last week, the Beacon network experienced a so-called event “reorganization of blocks” which saw its blockchain fork for seven consecutive blocks, a situation that hasn’t happened in years. While the cause appears to have been benign, it triggered a brief crisis of confidence as the emergence of multiple competing Ethereum chains after the merger was a catastrophe.

To their credit, the elite developers who helped facilitate the merger have proceeded patiently and methodically to ensure that the new Ethereum blockchain is ready for prime time. And as CEO of Kraken Jess Powell said in a recent episode of decipherOn the gm podcast, he’s not concerned about the numerous delays that have marked the merger process, as success is more important than speed when it comes to something of this magnitude.

Powell is right, but that doesn’t mean the Ethereum meltdown can go on much longer. Further delays will trigger accusations that the Ethereum community is not up to the task, and will mean that the blockchain gas rate problems—which are a major impediment to the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies— will never be fixed. The failure of Ethereum to move beyond the energy-intensive proof-of-work system would also provide more ammunition to environmentalists and politicians who already have it in the crypto industry.

The bottom line is that the stakes could not be higher for the merger, not just for Ethereum but for the crypto industry as a whole. Success will bring renewed faith in the future of Web3, while further delays or a failed execution will lead to a price crash and a nasty new Crypto Winter. Everyone in the crypto community, including Bitcoin maxis, should root for Ethereum to achieve this. The alternative is a much worse market than the one we are in now.

That is Roberts on Cryptoa weekend column from Decrypt’s editor-in-chief Daniel Roberts and Executive Editor of Decrypt jeff john roberts. Sign up for the Decrypt Debrief Email Newsletter to receive it in your inbox every Saturday. And read last weekend’s column: Do you think sports will move away from cryptocurrencies and NFTs due to the crash? think again.

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