It’s going to be a big week for the crypto market.
On Thursday, the Ethereum system upgrade dubbed “the Merge” will occur, moving one of the largest and most important blockchains in the world away from its current proof-of-work setup to a proof-of-stake model. The technical change brings with it a wealth of questions, including what sort of precedent it sets for rival blockchains that are sticking to their proof-of-work guns.
The Merge is often discussed in the context of the anticipated changes to the environmental weight of Ethereum — proof-of-stake doesn’t require the same level of compute inputs, meaning the blockchain won’t need to marshal a Bitcoin-like fleet of computers to keep its network running. That’s good.
But if you were hoping for that much more from the upgrade, hang tight. Other goodies might be a bit further down the line.
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Reading through the analyst, investor, and founder perspectives that we collected last week concerning expectations for the upcoming Merge changed my perspective on the event. Given how long the Merge has been in the offing, you might expect that it will swoop in and de-kink every part of the Ethereum blockchain. It will not.