The Ethereum merger is set to happen later today with a transition focused on energy efficiency expected to have a major impact on crypto investment and adoption, experts say.
In an interview with Cointelegraph in lead to mergerStarkWare president and co-founder Eli Ben-Sasson noted that the Ethereum merger will be “the first step in a process that will lead to extremely broad adoption of Ethereum.”
The immediate importance of coupling is the dramatic effect on energy consumption.
The merger is expected to reduce Ethereum’s energy by 99.95% compared to its current Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, which requires large amounts of energy used in competition to solve arbitrary mathematical puzzles.
“I think of the merger as the development of the first solar arrays,” Ben-Sasson added.
“We saw that we can reduce the impact of electricity production on the environment. We did not say ‘problem solved’, but that it is time to redouble our efforts to use electricity more sparingly, if we produce electricity with less pollution.”
Excited to never have to hear about “ommer blocks” again.
(okay, I know “ommer” was supposed to be a gender-neutral replacement for “uncle”, but come on, it just *sounds* like an insult to people who meditate)
Oh, and saving electricity. And that’s great.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 14, 2022
Ben-Sasson believes the end result is where the general population uses blockchain-based applications in many different areas of life, “as naturally as people use smartphone applications today.”
CEO of crypto exchange Coinjar, Asher Tan says the merger will change the narrative around crypto more broadly, noting that it’s incredibly rare for the tech sector to “make such a drastic reduction in its energy intensity.”
“We believe people underestimate the importance of the 99.95% drop in energy consumption after the merger,” Tan noted.
It makes the Ethereum network far more acceptable to the public and opens the door for investors and companies that have remained crypto-agnostic due to their carbon footprint.
Despite the optimism surrounding Ethereum’s transition, there is still debate as to whether the merger has already been factored into the price of Ether (ETH) or not.
Charmyn Ho, Head of Crypto Insights at crypto exchange Bybit, says their analysts have concluded that there is “no consensus” among institutional investors or market makers regarding short-term trading around The Merge, but instead they are more likely to accumulate ETH and become hodlers.
Meanwhile, most inside the Ethereum “bubble” seem unconcerned about whether or not the merger will be successful.
Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin told Bloomberg yesterday that he believes that transition it will result in very little disruption to developers and users, and will be “as smooth as if your iPhone or laptop upgraded its operating system overnight.”
StarkWare’s Ben-Sasson also sees the transition as smooth, suggesting that “The Ethereum Foundation has prepared so carefully for this moment and it inspires great confidence,” noting:
“It will be a significant sign of success when the first block is produced using proof of stake. But this is like completing a rocket launch – we still have the rest of the journey ahead of us, which will present its own challenges.”
Lubin suggests that in his opinion this is the third most important event in the crypto space, behind only the development of Bitcoin and Ethereum.