The Merge upgrade has been successfully activated on the Ethereum network. The Merge was activated on September 15 at approximately 6:55 GMT, when the total network complexity, or TTD, reached 58,750,000,000,000,000,000,000.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin announced on Twitter the successful activation of The Merge and called this event one of the most important in the history of Ethereum.
Joseph Lubin, CEO of ConsenSys, called The Merge the third most important event in the history of the crypto industry. He called the birth of Bitcoin in 2009 the most important event, and the launch of Ethereum in 2015 the second most important achievement.
“In terms of impact, in the history of our ecosystem, there have been two major events so far. The advent of Bitcoin and the development of Ethereum, a much more programmable and expressive blockchain technology. The slot’s in as number three in my opinion,” he said in a recent interview with Bloomberg TV.
CEO Coinbase Brian Armstrong also welcomes the upgrade, tweeting that he is excited "for what comes next":
The Merge is a merger of the main Ethereum network and the Beacon Chain, where the Proof-of-Stake protocol consensus mechanism was launched on December 1, 2020. The activation of The Merge means the end of ETH mining on Proof-of-Work, which was previously performed on GPU. Instead of mining, blocks will be formed by nodes that will validate transactions and send them to the blockchain. To become a validator, a node needs to stake 32 ETH in the Ethereum 2.0 smart contract. A node is randomly selected for block validation. Transaction fees as well as staking rewards are used to stimulate nodes to become validators. The PoS-based blockchain requires much less resources than a PoW-based one, and becomes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Before The Merge, approximately 13,000 ETH were mined per day. After The Merge, there will be no more ETH mined, and that means that the supply of ETH will be reduced to approximately 1,600 ETH per day.
Ahead of the Merge, Twitter was flooded with fake but verified Buterin profiles that advertised fraudulent cryptocurrency giveaways.
Ironically, such a scam advertising appeared even in the comments to the real Buterin's tweet, who announced the successful launch of the Merge.