The Ethereum ecosystem which is the world’s second-largest blockchain network has undergone a historic overhaul today, September 15, 2022. It has transitioned to a new system for processing transactions by merging with a separate proof-of-stake blockchain called the beacon coin. This upgrade from the original proof-of-work mechanism to a proof-of-stake has been dubbed ‘The Merge’.
The Merge promises to make Ethereum a more scalable, more secure, and more sustainable Blockchain system, with expected energy savings of as much as 99.95% following The Merge.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a decentralised global software platform that is powered by blockchain technology and is used for building apps and organisations, holding assets, transacting, and communicating without being controlled by a central authority.
Ethereum has its own cryptocurrency which is called Ether or ETH. Ether is a purely digital currency, decentralised and transparent, that can be used to pay for certain activities on the Ethereum network and sent to anyone across the world instantly.
While Ethereum allows users to use digital money just like Bitcoin does, its uses expand beyond the scope of Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is a payment network, Ethereum can be compared to a private and secure marketplace of financial services, games, social networks, and pretty much anything under the sun- bound only by the limits of one’s innovation.
Ethereum is programmable, which means one can also build and deploy decentralised applications on its network. For instance, one can build apps that use the blockchain to store data and control what all the apps can do. Today, all kinds of players on the internet such as investors, developers, companies, artists, musicians, gamers, and even refugees use Ethereum for various purposes.
One of the most prominent uses of Ethereum is its access to decentralised financial services to its users, without the presence of any middle-man. This allows for faster and simplified cross-border payments, with funds being able to move across the globe within minutes for a fraction of the price charged by banks usually for similar transactions.