In a move many years in development, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum (ETH), merged with the Beacon Chain on 15 September. This replaced the original proof-of-work mechanism on the Mainnnet with a proof-of-stake consensus layer that ultimately reduces energy use by 99.95%. Rather than utilizing miners (whose computers use a lot of energy to record transactions to the blockchain), ETH’s value now comes from currency staked in a smart contract. More than 41,000 people viewed the live “Ethereum Mainnet Merge Viewing Party” on YouTube, and the transition was seamless. This historic upgrade means that Ethereum is now a low-carbon blockchain. Read more about the nuance of the transition—and how it affects Ethereum holders and the rest of the world—at Ars Technica.
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