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What The Ethereum Merge Is And Why It Matters

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What The Ethereum Merge Is And Why It Matters

The long-awaited Ethereum Merge is happening next week, and it’s one of the most important days in cryptocurrency history. Arcane as it sounds, the Merge matters whether or not you’re a blockchain believer or a crypto critic. If it’s successful, the process will lower ethereum’s massive electricity requirements by over 99%.

That is of huge consequence. Skeptics of cryptocurrency typically argue that coins like bitcoin and ether are useless, and that they consume enormous amounts of electricity. The first point is polarizing and subjective, but the second is unequivocally true. In an era when more people than ever view climate change mitigation as society’s highest priority, the carbon emissions of bitcoin and ethereum are too conspicuous to ignore. 

In the Merge, ethereum will adopt a system known as proof of stake, which has been planned since 2014, before the blockchain’s creation. Because of its technical complexity, and the increasingly large amount of money at risk, it has been delayed multiple times. The Merge is part of what in the past was called “ether 2.0,” a series of upgrades that reshape the blockchain’s foundations.

“We’ve been working on proof of stake for about seven years now,” ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin said at the Eth Shanghai conference in March, “but finally all of that work is coming together.” 

The Ethereum Mege is scheduled to occur between Sept. 13 and Sept. 15. Here’s what you need to know to make sense of the big day.

Why is crypto bad for the environment? 

To understand the Merge, you first need to understand the role of cryptocurrency miners.

Say you wanted to mine cryptocurrency. You’d set up a powerful computer — a “mining rig” — to run software that attempts to solve complex cryptographic puzzles. Your rig competes with hundreds of thousands of miners around the world trying to solve the same puzzle. If your computer unscrambles the cryptography first, you win the right to “validate” a block — that is, add new data to the blockchain. Doing so gives you a reward: Bitcoin miners get 6.25 bitcoin ($129,000) for every block they verify, while ethereum miners get 2 ether ($2,400) plus gas, which are the fees users pay on each transaction (which can be huge).

It takes a powerful computer to have a chance in this race, and people typically set up warehouses full of rigs for this purpose. This system is called “proof of work,” and it’s how both bitcoin and ethereum blockchains run. 

“It’s what’s called the Sybil resistance mechanism,” said Jon Charbonneau, an analyst at Delphi Digital. Every blockchain needs to run on a scarce resource, Charbonneau explained, one that bad actors can’t monopolize. For proof-of-work blockchains, that resource is power – in the form of the electricity required to run a mining operation.

To overtake ethereum right now, a bad actor would need to control 51% of the network’s power. The network is made up of hundreds of thousands of computers around the world, meaning bad guys would need to control 51% of the power in this vast mining pool. Doing so would cost billions of dollars. 

The system is secure. Though scams and hacks are common in crypto, neither the bitcoin nor ethereum blockchains themselves have been compromised in the past. The downside, however, is obvious. As cryptographic puzzles become more complicated and more miners compete to solve them, energy expenditure soars.

How much energy does crypto use?

Lots and lots. Bitcoin is estimated to consume about 150 terawatt hours a year, which is more electricity than 45 million people in Argentina use. Ethereum is closer to Switzerland’s 9 million citizens, eating up about 62 million terawatt hours.

Much of that energy comes from renewable sources. About 57% of the energy used to mine bitcoin comes from renewable sources, according to the Bitcoin Mining Council. (BMC relies on self reporting among its members.) This is motivated not by climate conscientiousness but self interest: Renewable energy is cheap, so mining operations are often set up near wind, solar or hydro farms.

Still, the carbon footprint is extensive. Ethereum is estimated to emit carbon dioxide at a similar scale to Denmark.

How will the Merge help?

The Merge will see ethereum completely shed proof of work, the energy-intensive system it currently uses, in favor of proof of stake. 

In crypto land, “staking” refers to depositing cryptocurrency to a protocol. Sometimes this can be to yield interest. For instance, the creators of the terraUSD stablecoin offered customers 19% interest on staked TerraUSD: You could put in $10,000 and take out $11,900 after a year (until it imploded).

Other times, as in the case of a proof-of-stake blockchain, staked cryptocurrency helps secure a protocol. As we’ll see shortly, the more ether is staked, the more secure the blockchain will be after the Merge. 

When proof of stake comes into effect, miners will no longer have to solve cryptographic puzzles to verify new blocks. Instead, they’ll deposit ether tokens into a pool. Imagine each of these tokens is a lottery ticket: If your token number is called, you win the right to verify the next block and earn the rewards that entails. 

It’s still an expensive enterprise. Prospective block verifiers — who will be known as “validators” instead of miners — need to stake a minimum of 32 ether ($48,500) to be eligible. This system sees punters put up raw capital, rather than power, to validate blocks. Whereas a bad actor needs 51% of a network’s power to overrun a proof-of-work system, they’d need 51% of the total staked ether to overrun the proof-of-stake system. The more total ether is staked, the safer the network becomes as the cost of reaching 51% of it’s capital increases. 

Since cryptographic puzzles will no longer be part of the system, electricity expenditure will go down an estimated 99.65%, according to the Ethereum Foundation.

Why is it called ‘the Merge’?

Ethereum will transition from proof of work to proof of stake through a merging of two blockchains.

The ethereum blockchain that people use is known as “mainnet,” as distinguished from various “testnet” blockchains that are used only by developers. In December 2020, ethereum developers created a new network called the “beacon chain”. The beacon chain is essentially the new ethereum.

The beacon chain is a proof-of-stake chain that’s been chugging along in isolation since its creation 19 months ago. Validators have been adding blocks to the chain, but these blocks have contained no data or transactions. It’s like a bus doing routes with no passengers just to make sure the engine runs properly. 

The Merge will see the data held on ethereum’s mainnet transferred to the beacon chain, which will then become the prime blockchain on ethereum’s network. In the run-up to the Merge, ethereum developers have been stress testing the new blockchain by running data and transactions through it on various ethereum testnets. 

“From speaking to ethereum developers, they’ve felt confident that had proof-of-work mining been, say, banned overnight, they could do the Merge even months ago and it would work,” Charbonneau said. The worry is that there would be some bugs on Ethereum “clients” — software that can read ethereum data and mine blocks — that could take months to fix. 

The Merge has been delayed many times over the last couple of years. Ethereum’s developers are being extra careful, Charbonneau said, to ensure the different clients validators use can work together at the time of the Merge. 

Are there any risks? 

Absolutely. Critics of ethereum — typically bitcoin enthusiasts — compare the merge to changing the engine of an airplane in the middle of a passenger flight. At stake is not just the airplane, but the $188 billion worth of ether in circulation.

On a technical level, there could be many unforeseen bugs with the new blockchain. Solana, another proof-of-stake blockchain, has suffered several complete outages this year. Solana and ethereum differ in that solana’s fees are minuscule, which means it’s easier for bots to overwhelm the blockchain, but technical difficulties aren’t out of the question.

Critics also wonder whether proof of stake will be as secure as proof of work. Charbonneau reckons it could be safer because of a function called “slashing” – in essence, validators can have their staked ether burned, and their network access revoked, if they’re found to have acted maliciously. 

“Say someone 51% attacks bitcoin today, you can’t really do anything,” Charbonneau said. “They have all the miners and they could just keep attacking you. With proof of stake, it’s really simple. If you attack the network, it’s provable and we just slash you, and then your money’s gone.”

“You get one bullet, and then that’s it. Then you can’t do it again.” 

Will it cause the price of ether to go up?

Ether is down about 55% since the beginning of the year, and many are hoping the Merge will revive its price. This has been a hotly debated topic within crypto circles in recent months, and no one knows for sure what the Merge will do the ether’s price. 

There are two primary reasons people predict ether’s price will skyrocket following the Merge. First is the idea that ethereum fractioning its carbon footprint will make it easier for big companies to both invest in ether and create ethereum applications. 

“The reality is, if you take the environmental caring part away, there are a lot of people who are not going to use it [ethereum] and not want to invest in it just based on ESG reasons,” Charbonneau said, referring to environmental, social and corporate governance standards for ethical investing. “There are a lot of tech companies that have openly said, ‘we are not going to do anything until after the Merge.'” 

The second argument people make is a little more technical. Mining ethereum is costly; as electricity prices have gone up and crypto prices have gone down, even successful mining operations have begun to see red. To offset costs, miners typically sell most of the cryptocurrency they earn from mining. That creates millions of dollars of sell pressure each day as miners offload their ether. Once ethereum is proof of stake, miners (or “validators” as they’ll be called) won’t have to sell all the ether they earn, since validating blocks is so much cheaper than mining them via proof of work cryptography. 

Others argue, however, that the Merge is already priced in. It’s been in the works for seven years and many big-time investors, the argument goes, have put money on ethereum with the expectation that the Merge would be successful. 

When will the Merge happen? 

The Merge is currently schedued to go ahead between Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, according to ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.

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Celsius Network Will Hold Its Final Asset Auction On This Date 

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Celsius Network Will Hold Its Final Asset Auction On This Date 
  • Celsius Network is set to hold its final asset auction on October 17, 2022 
  • FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is reportedly mulling over buying Celsius Network assets next week.

A recent court filing filed by Celsius reveals that the embattled crypto lender platform will conduct its final bidding session on October 17, 2022.

Celsius Is All Set to Host Its Final Auction Event 

Celsius Network has revealed a new timeline for its final auction event. The crypto lender platform will now be conducting its final bidding session on October 17, 2022, at 4:00 PM ET, alongside an auction, if necessary, on October 20, at 10:00 Eastern time.

Per the court filing filed with the US bankruptcy court for Southern New York, a sale hearing will be held on November 11, 1:00 PM ET, before chief US bankruptcy Judge Glenn Martin via Zoom.

Celsius Network, a prominent crypto lender platform, landed itself in troubled waters in July when the firm announced its decision to halt its deposits and withdrawals on the platform, citing extreme market conditions. The platform has received heavy criticism from the entire crypto community, which further spiralled out of control when the firm announced a deficit of 2.8 billion on its balance sheet.

In addition to this, Alex Mahinsky, CEO of Celsius Network, has recently submitted his resignation to the board. Mahinsky had reportedly withdrawn $10 million in the weeks before the firm halted deposits and withdrawals on its platform.

The auction, which is scheduled to go live on October 17, is said to be attended by a large number of interested parties. The CEO of FTX crypto platform, Sam Bankman-Fried, is also reportedly interested in purchasing the remaining assets of Celsius Network.

Last week, FTX.US won the first round of the Voyager asset auction by proposing a winning bid of $1.4 billion.

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Money Flowing Out Of Crypto Funds Is 666M Less Than Previous Quarter Indicating Bearish Investors Are Already Out: Bloomberg

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Money Flowing Out Of Crypto Funds Is 666M Less Than Previous Quarter Indicating Bearish Investors Are Already Out: Bloomberg
  • According to data from Bloomberg, money flowing out of crypto exchange-traded funds has slowed down by 97% in Q3 compared to Q2. 
  • Investors pulled $17.6 million from crypto ETFs in Q3 in comparison to a record withdrawal of $683.4 million from the ETF in Q2.

The second quarter of 2022 saw record withdrawals from crypto exchange-traded funds with a withdrawal of $683.4 million, which affected the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s price has seen a 60% decrease that quarter, posting a record low of $17,785 on June 17 according to data from Coingecko.

Money Flowing Out Of Crypto Funds Is 666M Less Than Previous Quarter Indicating Bearish Investors Are Already Out: Bloomberg 12

Bloomberg data reports that Q3 of 2022 saw much fewer sales, indicating that capitulation may have occurred and bearish investors are now already out of risky assets such as BTC, Ethereum, and others.

ETF Strategist at Strategas securities stated for Bloomberg:

“I wonder if the second quarter was the ‘get me out part of these funds,”

According to Sohn, the third quarter may have been where the “laggards” and investors who had been “keeping the faith mentality” are now out.

Markets have declined in recent months as central banks have increased interest rates to curb inflation.

Bitcoin Witnessed An Increase In Volume This Quarter Against GBP

Bitcoin recently witnessed increased trading volume against GBP as the fiat currencies showed weakness. Bitcoin trading volume recorded an all-time high on Sep 28, 2022, as the UK’s fiat currency was threatened.

Bitcoin has been outperforming other major currencies in the past week, with a positive increase of 6.3%. Will this outperformance continue to hold, and are investors getting “orange-pilled” on Bitcoin while losing faith in fiat currency? This is something we will continue monitoring and see how it unfolds.

Money Flowing Out Of Crypto Funds Is 666M Less Than Previous Quarter Indicating Bearish Investors Are Already Out: Bloomberg 13

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ETH, BNB & TAMA – The 6 Big Winners on the Crypto Market this Week

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ETH, BNB & TAMA – The 6 Big Winners on the Crypto Market this Week

Even though Ethereum led the market in past years, it has never stayed at the top ladder for a long time. The high volatility property of cryptocurrencies was more evident in 2018, with unstable market prices. Amidst the price volatility, more altcoins were launched into the market, with an increased number of cryptocurrency users. This week, six altcoins have emerged as big winners in the crypto market.

An average crypto trader could view the emergence of these altcoins as a sudden wave. However, experts have predicted this outcome since the beginning of September. Thus, every diligent crypto investor should focus on coins that would earn them extra weekly profits. You may just consider investing in these coins now since there is a high possibility of earning a huge profit in return.

This is not the first time up to five cryptocurrencies are leading the market. So, you may wonder, which altcoins are leading again? Why are these altcoins everywhere on the crypto market this week? Read further for more information.

List of the 6 Big Winners on the Crypto Market this Week

Here is a list of the five big cryptocurrency winners you should watch out for this week:

  • Tamadoge
  • IMPT
  • Battle Infinity
  • Lucky Block
  • Ethereum
  • Binance Coin

Tamadoge (TAMA)

Tamadoge has refused to be an ordinary memecoin following the ordinance of Dogecoin. The coin is building a strong metaverse environment by developing varieties of cryptocurrency features. Some of these features include; Play-to-Earn (P2E), Tamadoge pets, and Tamadoge exchange.

Crypto traders currently buy Tamadoge on the OKX exchange platform. However, the coin developers are looking forward to launching the Tamadoge AR app in 2023. During the production of Tamadoge, a maximum of 2 billion tokens is usually in circulation.

This crypto project allows players to trade with its native currency, TAMA, which incurs no transaction tax. Tamadoge is a unique cryptocurrency such that traders can maximize their NFT animal art to earn substantial amounts of digital coins. A collection of expert and skilled crypto enthusiasts, software engineers, developers, and markers, are working closely to keep promoting Tamadoge among the Crypto community.

Experts have predicted that Tamadoge will possibly yield a price increase of 100x by 2023. Research has also revealed that investors participating in the Tama coin sales got 180% ROI from the first day. The bullish behavior of the TAMA coin is more rapid than ever, especially since it was listed on the OKX exchange. Thus, you can enjoy the benefits of trading with Tamadoge by visiting the exchange platform or by visiting LBank on Wednesday 5th October when TAMA will go live there.

TAMADOGE

>>>Buy Tamadoge Now<<<

IMPT

Ever wondered if it was possible for a cryptocurrency project to be centered on creating a socially conscious environment? Well, if you haven’t, it is very possible. And that is all because of IMPT

IMPT simply means “Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies.” It is a platform that helps businesses and individuals connect with brands aiming to reduce their overall carbon footprints. 

It is more than just a crypto project – it helps people tackle climate change by offering simple and effective mechanisms. There are lots of companies worldwide that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, and IMPT is offering a solution with the use of carbon credits. 

Carbon credits help to eradicate emissions – certified Climate Action Projects created them. And one carbon credit is equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide emission. Therefore, businesses and individuals who contribute to these emissions can purchase carbon credits to cover their emissions. 

You can also get carbon credits by participating in product shopping from IMPT partner brands. Points are earned as you shop, and these points can be converted into carbon credits. And the cool thing is that you can mint carbon credits as NFTs, which can be sold on the IMPT marketplace

IMPT is gaining momentum and has over 10,000 brand collaborations where users can get carbon credits to minimize their carbon footprints. The platform is growing and helping foster a green and carbon-free environment. 

impt.io

>>>Buy IMPT Now<<

Battle Infinity (IBAT)

You should not sleep on one of the best cryptocurrency projects launched in 2022. August was a lucky month for IBAT holders, as the price skyrocketed from $0.0015 to $0.11 per token. Although crypto enthusiasts predicted a huge price increase by the end of 2022, the first week of October is already manifesting the prediction.

Battle Infinity has grown so much in popularity due to its added features. Crypto traders can now stake tokens to earn some cryptocurrencies, similar to the Ethereum Proof of Stake (POS) mechanism. IBAT developers have also linked some battle games with access to their own NFT crates.

The IBAT stellar roadmap has caught the attention of several crypto investors and traders. It offers valuable experience due to the established metaverse-based concept. The project idea is focused on building an ecosystem that allows players to explore several gaming options. The IBAT gaming leadership board is directly proportional to players’ rewards. On the other hand, the hike in Battle Infinity price can be associated with its recent listing on PancakeSwap.

battle infinity

>>> Buy Battle Infinity Now <<<

Lucky Block (LBLOCK)

Several lottery systems exist in the gaming industry, but there have been no leading fair coins in the digital crypto space. Lucky Block players have an equal opportunity to win games using the LBLOCK token. The payment method is transparent and swift, as players will experience no delay.

Early buyers of Lucky Block experienced a fast selling out in the first quarter of 2021. Within 49 days, 32.5 billion tokens have been sold out, generating huge profit for investors. Lucky Block’s growth did not end there, as it kept establishing its base in the cryptocurrency environment.

The Lucky Block coin has gained much presence on several social media outlets since its new version was launched on the 25th of July, 2022. The older version of the digital coin followed the BNB chain pattern. On the other hand, the latest version is built on the Ethereum blockchain. Based on this development, traders can expect more exciting projects from Lucky Block in the near future.

lucky block

>>>Buy Lucky Block Now <<<

Ethereum (ETH)

Interestingly, Ethereum is not a digital coin that survives only on past glory. It happened to be one of the top 5 winners of digital currencies for this week. Although many digital currencies experienced a downfall in the past few months, Ethereum is steadily gaining ground. Since Ethereum developers completed the “merge” project on the 15th of September, Ethereum’s price has been more stable than most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

The price of Ethereum has recently been between $1,200 and $1,500. Financial experts predict the market may likely experience high volatility due to global economic inflation. Thus, encouraging traders to buy Ethereum now. Research has also revealed that the volatility will likely happen by the end of 2022.

The good news is that Ethereum investors will highly benefit from this high volatility. The recent price prediction suggests that Ethereum may hit $4,000 in favor of its investors. Whatever happens in the near future, financial planners advise that crypto traders diversify their portfolios by investing in the Ethereum currency.

ethereum

Binance Coin (BNB)

Developers of Binance Coin have built a large ecosystem that accommodates several utilities, including listing fees, exchange fees, and trading fees. BNB is built on the Ethereum blockchain while hosting cryptocurrency activities like Binance Smart Chain. Unfortunately, the Binance Coin experienced a price downfall in 2020 due to the pandemic outbreak. However, there has been a positive turnaround since the coin hit $690 in May 2021.

The Binance Coin’s uniqueness is seen in traders’ opportunity to trade digital assets systematically. Although Binance charges a transaction rate of 0.1%, traders can easily make this payment with BNB. The vast market possibilities BNB presents contribute to its massive global adoption.

binance

Final Thoughts

The six cryptocurrencies discussed above will possibly stay at the top for a long time, considering traders’ massive response to the trending market charts. However, traders seem to have developed a greater interest in the Tamadoge, Lucky Block, and Battle Infinity digital coins. These latest altcoins can compete closely with older altcoins in the crypto market.

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