Ethereum merges lanes (Jackal Pan/Getty Images)
The future of finance… aims to leave its past in the dust. The ethereum Merge — a years-in-the-making reimagining of the world's second-largest crypto — is set for mid-September, and crypto fans are HODLing their breath. The Merge is meant to move the chain's consensus mechanism (think: verification process) from “proof of work” (PoW: old, power-hungry) to “proof of stake” (PoS: new, efficient). It's a critical moment for the seven-year-old crypto, with real — ahem — stakes:
Growing up = growing pains… Dragging a chain worth $202B into the future isn't like flipping a switch. Plenty could go wrong, from bugs to industry consolidation (aka: dreaded centralization). Merge fans argue that if ethereum sticks with the old PoW, it risks getting left behind by new chains on the block (like: solana), but not all of cryptoland's on board:
The Merge is full steam ahead… and crypto's future is along for the ride. Picture a bunch of railroad engineers trying to swap out parts on a moving train — but the train's packed with priceless cargo and can't slow down. That's kind of like the Merge. Getting it wrong risks derailing the ethereum train and everything built on top of it (DeFi, Ape NFTs). If the upgrade succeeds, the train’ll run cleaner and could inspire the broader crypto industry to follow suit. If it fails? Hold on.