Ethereum blockchain’s merge is on its way
The crypto market is collapsing and in desperate need for a fix. “The Merge” – an upgrade to Ethereum’s blockchain – could provide a much needed relief and shape the industry’s entire future. Read more below.
by Aline Barbosa
The upgrade should happen in the next semester and stakes couldn’t be higher.
May wasn’t exactly the best month in cryptocurrency’s recent history. An entire month of losses, with the collapse of a stablecoin as the cherry on top. While it’s way too soon to say the dog days are over – Bitcoin is still operating under $30,000 and it could drop further – financial experts seem to believe that the market will come through the storm just fine. Well, as long as the Ethereum merge goes smoothly, of course.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, the Ethereum merge – or simply “The Merge” – alludes to the upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain. The improvement should switch the second most popular crypto to a proof-of-stake version. An upgrade that is set to put an end to all concerns about the token’s environmental impact. It should also significantly boost its transaction speed.
Ethereum’s “The Merge” (previously known as Ethereum 2.0) is a process that has been initiated years ago. It has also been delayed too many times to count. However, the leading authorities on the blockchain, which includes Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin, are now saying the event is a go. It will most likely happen in August 2022, when the Beacon chain (a parallel blockchain to Ethereum that works as a test for the proof-of-stake) should merge with the leading Ethereum chain.
Hopefully, they’re right this time. The crypto market is in dire need of a win right now, and if Ethereum manages to pull off what is likely the most important improvement in the history of crypto, it would provide just that. It would also show that the Ethereum community is capable of conducting serious business. Not to mention it has the potential to trigger a huge price rally for the blockchain’s token.
Slow and steady wins the race
The chances of Ethereum actually pulling off “The Merge” are pretty good, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons for concern. In the past week, the Beacon chain experienced a block reorganization event. What happened is that its blockchain forked for seven blocks straight. While it didn’t cause any damage, it triggered a momentary crisis of confidence amongst investors. That is because the surfacing of multiple Ethereum chains after the merge occurs would be a complete disaster.
As of now, there’s no real cause for fear. The developers helping to assist “The Merge” have proceeded methodically and patiently to make sure the new Ethereum 2.0 blockchain will be good and ready when the time comes. Jesse Powell – Kraken’s CEO – said recently in an interview that he is not worried about the continuous delays of the merge process. He noted that when it comes to something of this magnitude, success is much more important than speed.
While Powell is right, that doesn’t mean “The Merge” can wait much longer. With the way things are now, further delays could trigger accusations that the community might not be up to the task. Not only that, but it will also mean that the main impediment to the adoption of crypto by the mainstream may never be fixed. If Ethereum fails to move beyond the proof-of-work system, it can also provide more ammunition for people who already have it in for the crypto market.
The truth is that there is a lot riding on the success of “The Merge”. Not just for Ethereum as a whole, but for the entire crypto industry. If the process succeeds, it will mean a fresh start of renewed faith for investors. A botched execution, however, will most likely trigger a collapse in prices and a new, worsened, Crypto Winter. That said, every company in the crypto community should be hoping for Ethereum to achieve its goal. Because the alternative is a market far worse than the one we’re currently in.
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