The Ethereum network has completed the first part of its highly-anticipated Merge, which has been billed as the “biggest event in crypto history”.
The Merge will see the world’s second largest cryptocurrency switch from a proof-of-work system to proof-of-stake, cutting its electricity consumption by orders of magnitude.
The transition means that miners no longer need to verify transactions on the network by solving complex mathematical puzzles, which require vast amounts of computing power.
Instead, transactions are validated by owners of Ethereum’s crypto token (ETH) stake their own holdings in order to validate and secure the network.
In order to achieve this, Ethereum’s network will fork to create two separate blockchains and two competing cryptocurrencies (ETHW and ETHS).
Anyone holding Ethereum at the time of the merge will automatically see both tokens in their online wallets and accounts, with Ethereum developers hoping that a consensus can be reached to use the proof-of-stake tokens.
The the first part of the Merge, known as the Bellatrix hard fork, was scheduled to take place at 12.34pm BST (7.34am ET) on Tuesday, 6 September, with the second and final part of the Merge taking place at some point between 13-15 September.
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