Experts are calling it the "biggest event in crypto since the creation of bitcoin and Ethereum."
The Ethereum blockchain has finally completed its long-awaited "Merge," switching from a proof-of-work to proof-of-stake system, a change that has allowed it to become substantially more environmentally friendly.
It's a pivotal moment in the history of the tech, with experts hailing it as the "biggest event in crypto since the creation of bitcoin and Ethereum," as Jon Charbonneau, a researcher at crypto research firm Delphi Digital, told The Wall Street Journal.
The price of ether, however, isn't looking too hot following the merger. The cryptocurrency fell about seven percent since the merge — not unusual in the volatile world of crypto, but possibly not a great sign for the future of blockchain's environmentally friendly experiment.
It's not all doom and gloom, however. According to the WSJ, analysts are expecting ether to recover as investors adjust to the new reality.
But they were clearly getting ready for a rough ride in the days leading up to the Merge. A full $1.2 billion worth of ether was moved to centralized cryptocurrency exchanges days prior, CoinDesk reports, indicating investors were likely getting ready to sell.
On the upside, Ethereum's energy requirements are now a fraction of what they once where, with electricity use dropping by a dramatic 99.988 percent, according to one analysis. That means its carbon footprint has now shrunk by 99.992 percent as well.
That'd be a massive windfall for the environment, considering Ethereum mining operations were estimated to be using as much electricity per year as the entirety of Bangladesh pre-Merge.
But it'll be interesting to see what happens next.
More on the merge: Crypto Miners Terrified by Ethereum's Imminent Move to Proof of Stake
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