What’s the Ethereum Merge? Everything You Need to Know
The Ethereum merge has finally happened and it could be the single biggest change to how we create and use NFTs, ever. So what is the merge and why does it matter? Faster transaction times, increased interoperability, scalable solutions, and more allow mass adoption to be set in place. Beyond this, it means that Ethereum NFTs are finally going green!
Energy & Ethereum
Ethereum has previously relied upon an energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. This requires computers in the network to perform complex, cryptographically-rooted calculations to add blocks to the chain.
At the core of The Merge lies Ethereum’s mission to improve its environmental impact. This is a huge move that will, in many ways, permanently shift the narrative of how people view cryptocurrencies. Pre-Merge, ETH was consuming 112 TWHr/Yr (Terrawatt Hour per Year), a consumption rate larger than that of Argentina.
From today, Ethereum’s blockchain’s energy consumption is expected to fall to between 99.5 and 99.99 percent and a greener NFT ecosystem will come into fruition.
What's The Merge?
In simple terms, the merge is a major upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain that will reduce environmental impact, increase security and scalability of the network. With The Merge, Vitalik Buterin aims to solve his own scalability trilemma, which states that for a blockchain to be efficient, it needs to solve three problems–security, decentralization, and scalability. Up until now, the Ethereum Mainnet has acted as a secure and decentralized blockchain.
The Merge is the first step toward scaling and future-proofing the Ethereum blockchain. Although Ethereum is one of the most widely adopted blockchains in the world, it’s been unable to scale due to its Proof-of-Work mechanism for validating transactions.
The Merge marks the joining of the Ethereum mainnet with its relatively new consensus layer – The Beacon Chain, which was created by Ethereum developers in 2020 and has since been running in parallel with Ethereum.
Merging with Beacon Chain will enable Etheruem to replace PoW with Proof of Stake (PoS), which will enable them to increase scalability for faster transactions and much lower fees (meaning new features, apps and upgrades!)
Doing our Bit
At Blockparty, we build tools that keep in mind the impact that communities can have in the real world. That’s why we provide alternative blockchain options to the Ethereum mainnet. Since early 2021, we’ve offered creators the option to mint on Flow, which uses PoS to facilitate scalable, low-cost, and environmentally friendly minting and transacting.
Most recently, we worked with the indie-groove band Goose to facilitate the sale of almost 800 limited edition NFT tour posters on the Polygon (PoS) network. We chose Polygon because we wanted to ensure that Goose's first NFT project was as environmentally friendly as possible. Not only is Polygon a PoS blockchain, but it's also made a recent pledge of $20 million to offset their carbon footprint via a series of community initiatives, including funding projects that utilize technology to combat climate change.
How will The Merge Impact NFTs?
With the transition to PoS, Ethereum's energy consumption levels are set to cut by half, which means that the users may finally be able to mint and sell NFTs in a sustainable setting. The greener initiative will be a welcome signal to potential investors, which may also lead to a turning point amid the ongoing bear market.