Since approximately ten years ago, when it was first created, Ethereum has been mined via a model known as proof-of-work (PoW). It involves challenging math equations that several machines compete to solve and was heavily criticized for its high consumption of energy, and subsequent environmental impact.
Ethereum has been working on the “Merge” which will join the existing layer of the Ethereum Mainnet to a consensus proof-of-stake (PoS) layer, the Beacon Chain. The new PoS method will use staked ETH to authenticate transactions and mint tokens. PoS uses a lot less energy and is expected to speed up transactions.
On the 11th of August, Ethereum successfully completed its third and final test environmental network (testnet) before the long awaited “Merge” with the Beacon Chain. The “Merge”, which is expected to happen sometime in this month, is being hailed as one of the most significant developments in the history of cryptocurrencies.
Although the “Merge” has been praised by many for its advantages, there have been some community members that have been advocating for a fork in the Ethereum block-chain that will keep some of the transactions on the PoW system because abandoning it altogether will heavily impact people who make their living as crypto miners.
The success of the final testnet boosted the value of ETH, the token native of the Ethereum blockchain, by more than 12.5% to around $1,900 on the 11th of August.