What is The Merge and why should you pay attention to it?

In this way, Ethereum continues to improve and compete with Bitcoin on a technical level. A lot of effort goes into each release on the Ethereum platform; It is constantly improving as more features are added.

The developers of the Ethereum project propose new features for the platform.

The Ethereum network has grown enough that it is no longer directly comparable to Bitcoin in terms of adoption and value generation.

Casual users are now aware of Ethereum thanks to constant media coverage and developer marketing campaigns. There are also several different Ethereum wallets that allow users to easily store and transact ETH tokens.

Additionally, several major banks now offer ETH trading options for their clients. All this success is due to the hard work put into developing the Ethereum platform over the past few years.

With all this scenario, there are different ideas. And the question arises as to whether the Ethereum blockchain is really a decentralized initiative or is mostly run by large corporations.

Martín González, CEO and co-founder of BAG -blockchain technology company that offers tools specially designed for art and culture-, commented on this: “It is a debate that has been taking place.

In order to be a validator in ETH, you must have 32 ETH, more than 40 thousand dollars at today’s price. That concentrates the number of possible validators. In order for anyone with less than 32 ETH to validate, they have to participate in a pool like Lido. These pools, together with large exchanges (Binance, Coinbase), strongly concentrate validators (7 validators concentrate more than ⅔ ). Is this centralized? Can they censor?

“In my opinion, it is an edge to which he pays a lot of attention. Above all because of the power to censor or not, according to regulations that exist and above all that will come ”, he added.

The Merge


The Merge was a change in the consensus protocol from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. Now the blocks instead of being mined are minted by the validators.

Regarding this, González specified: “The first radical change is energy consumption, with a reduction of 99.95%. The Merge reduced GLOBAL energy consumption by 0.2%, a lot”.

And he added: “For the user there are no changes in the interface or in the smart contracts, the network changed the consensus protocol but the user does not notice the difference. As for gas (fees), Merge does not have the function of reducing it, but we will have to wait for sharding, which is expected to be in production in the coming years. The merge also changed the rate of issuance of ETH and at times became deflationary.

On the other hand, Santos Barrio, CFO Let’sBit -one of the most important crypto-exchanges in LatAm focused on offering quality financial services-, remarked that “Ethereum is one of the two truly decentralized networks in the world, where there are no entities nor people capable of censoring them or definitively influencing their destiny, not even their founders”.

Although he clarified: “Although there are corporations with interests in Ethereum, as in any project of its size, none have the ability to control the network, which is effectively governed by thousands of autonomous nodes around the world. A sample of the strength of Ethereum as a project is precisely the Merge, which was a success despite financially damaging the interests of large miners, pools and chip producers around the world.

According to Barrio, the changes to be taken into account have to do with the merge making Ethereum more scalable and sustainable.

“Scalable thanks to Sharding, a solution that allows Ethereum to store and access information in a more efficient way (through shard chains) by improving its transaction verification process. Sustainable since the new consensus mechanism, proof of stake does not require the consumption of energy in computers that process transactions (miners) which reduces energy consumption by more than 90% »he detailed.

“Finally, the Merge is one of the most anticipated events in Crypto history. It was postponed several times, to the point that many actors considered that it would never happen or that its release would be a technical failure. The success of the Merge allows us to enter a new stage of blockchain development,” said the Let’sBit executive.

Lateral chains or sidechains


From XCapit -non-custodial, multi-blockchain and open source wallet-, its CEO José Trajtenberg spoke about the importance of sidechains in the blockchain field.

“Layer two or sidechain options are intended to make transactions more efficient in some way”

Thus, when Ethereum was POW, layer 2 networks were intended to have a lower transaction cost than the main network.

«The importance of them, in my opinion, mainly lies in trying to make proposals and experiments that are better than layer 1 networks, taking into account different use cases and applications built on them. By definition, I believe that diversity contributes to the better development of the state of science in this regard, and ultimately, there is no network that is better than another, but rather different use cases relevant to each of them”.

Environment


Leo Elduayén, CEO of Koibanx -a leading company in financial tokenization using blockchain technology-, spoke about The Merge and environmental issues.

“If we speak from the point of view of caring for the environment, the change is positive. However, we are surely talking about a loss of efficiency in some of the aspects of the blockchain trilemma: decentralization, security and scalability”.

“Similarly, the success of the applied technical change and the lower energy consumption could generate confidence in the project in the future, with greater acceptance by users and institutions, especially those that saw their participation limited for reasons of ESG,” he explained.

Mihailo Bjelic, co-founder of Polygon – the decentralized Ethereum scaling platform that allows developers to build scalable and easy-to-use dApps with low transaction fees without sacrificing security – opined that adoption by web3 startups will be primarily driven and determined by developers. Same factors as in the world of Web 2.0: “product fit to the market and commitment of the founders”.

“That being said, with the merger and introduction of fast and efficient development platforms built on Ethereum, the web3 infrastructure is ready for mass adoption and will further drive the adoption of web3 startups in general”

Mihailo Bjelic

First of all, it will be about adopting the new technologies (for example, Polygon) that are built on top of Ethereum and provide all the necessary features for mass adoption like fast transactions, low fees and a great user experience.

So your users should be educated about the real benefits of web3: transparency, ownership, borderless economy and communities. I am personally confident that these two things will usher in the new chapter of adoption,” he commented.

Baek Kim, a partner at Hashed, joined the conversation to note: “Ethereum’s move to a PoS mechanism fundamentally changes the power dynamic in the crypto industry.”

Caveat
"Investment in crypto assets is not regulated, it may not be suitable for retail investors and the entire amount invested may be lost"

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