This page will be continually updated with news and views as the Merge happens and the world passes into the new era of Ethereum 2.0
Merge reset – the new India Time for Merge – around 12 noon, Wednesday September 15.
Google’s Merge countdown clock is tracking the time left for Ethereum nodes to stop doing the hard work of PoW. The blockchain will then switch to the lighter, 99% energy saving Proof of Stake mechanism.
The time left is calculated with what is called the level of Difficulty, a big number. The Merge will happen when this number reaches 58750000 P.
Some basic questions uppermost in everyone’s mind
Will gas prices reduce after Merge?
Not expected. The average gas price currently stands at around $3 and have been seen to be rising in the last few days.
Will ETH prices rise?
Since staking requires ETH, there may be greater demand, but the price of ETH has not shown any significant movement.
Will there be any disruptions?
The official page says there is no need for any action for holders of ethereum, although exchanges like Binance are suspending transactions during the Merge period – sometime this noon. More than 75% of the nodes are ready for the Merge.
Will transactions become faster, since the POW was a hard operation and is now gone?
Ethereum blockchain will not become faster because of the switch to POS.
How will NFTs be affected?
The switch to eco-friendly POS means artists will have one less grudge to consider before creating their NFT digital art.
Will Ethereum mining be controlled by whales and a few elite?
To the best of our knowledge there are precautions in place, even with the current POW, where “uncle chains” are allowed and even the second winner that finds a block can get rewarded. But given that POS is all about staking (35ETH is the minimum to run an independent node at home), the resultant status quo can be easily guessed.
Norway’s central bank uses Ethereum to build central digital currency
Norges Bank has released the open source for the sandbox of its CBDC (central bank digital currency). The Github hosted code available currently for private testers only allows interacting with the test network for minting and other functions of the new currency, also called DSP. The bank had released a working paper back in 2021, and had tested other blockchains such as Bitcoin and Bitcoin SV. Among the main challenges it had to address was inter-operability with various blockchains.
Merge may attract institutional investors to staking
Bank of America, as reported in Coindesk, says the Merge, the first of the five upgrades to Ethereum blockchain, will make it more attractive to institutional investors. The quality aspects of staking ETH are what would attract, say insurance firms, to consider staking ETH as an option, in addition to investing in corporate and government debt.
Ethereum price remains largely unaffected a day before the merge, as seen from the chart.
It is not ether that is rising, but bitcoin. BTC has crossed above $22k.
Around 24 hrs more to go…
Unlike bitcoin, Ethereum has UNLIMITED supply. That’s probably because of its revolutionary programming feature of smart contracts that allows Dapps to be built. Solana also has an unlimited supply potential.
Which countries are searching most for the Merge?
Singapore, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and the US are where most searches are coming in for the ETH Merge, Coingecko reported a few days ago.
There are videos going around raising expectations or speculating that either Ethereum prices or the prices of other alt coins will increase, move exponentially, or even sky-rocket. Nothing of this sort may happen.
“Extensive testing and bug bounties were undertaken to ensure a safe transition to proof-of-stake.” – Ethereum.org
Interested in staking?
There are three or four major ways – Solo staking on your own dedicated computer (requires 32 ETH = USD 55,000), Staking as a service providers (same amount required), Pool staking (most popular, affordable with minimal amounts) or via central crypto exchanges.
What is the current staking scene?
Over USD 24 billion are currently staked. Here are the current stats from the official Ethereum.org page:
TOTAL ETH STAKED: 14,402,627 ETH (~ USD 24,808,380,981)
TOTAL VALIDATORS: 425,935
CURRENT APR: ~4.1%
Post merge, a lot of GPUs will go idle, and a great amount of energy – equivalent to the power consumer consumer by New Zealand every year – will be saved. However, miners around the world will lose one of their most lucrative means of earning Ethereum and a regular source of income too.
A breakaway group – the EthereumPoW – plans to continue adding blocks and mining on the old POW Ethereum, thus creating a fork and probably a new token too. According to their tweet – ““ETHW mainnet will happen within 24 hours after the Merge.”