Can ‘the Merge’ Save Crypto?
Crypto could use a bit of good news these days. And on Wednesday, it got some. Ethereum, the most popular crypto platform, appears to have successfully upgraded its software architecture from a type of blockchain known as “proof of work,” which it has run since its inception in 2015, to a type of blockchain known as “proof of stake.” This upgrade, which came to be called, simply, “the merge,” is already being heralded as a watershed moment in the history of crypto. Early Thursday morning, as the first proof-of-stake transactions were verified, dozens of Ethereum developers gathered on a celebratory Zoom call hosted by the Ethereum Foundation. “This is the first step in Ethereum’s big journey towards being a very mature system,” Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s founder, told the group. “To me, the merge symbolizes the difference between early stage Ethereum and the Ethereum we’ve always wanted.” And many crypto fans hope that it will turn things around for the crypto movement, which has been besieged in the past year by trillions of dollars in losses, a string of major scams and hacks and a new wave of regulatory scrutiny.
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