what changes for Aether holders from this Thursday

The Ethereum transition will take place this Thursday around 7:00 am French time. What will happen to the users? BFM Crypto takes stock.

One of the most anticipated events of the year will take place this Thursday around 7:00 am French time, it is the Ethereum transition called “The Merge” at block 58.750. And a question arises: what will change for users of the blockchain or for the owners of ether, the cryptocurrency of this blockchain?

Taking the prism of the user experience on Ethereum is crucial. While the Bitcoin blockchain allows for value exchanges with the queen of cryptocurrencies (bitcoin), Ethereum has seen the development of many related applications. Let’s think of those that use smart contracts that allow traditional finance operations (loans, loans, etc.) to be carried out without any control body, in what is called decentralized finance (DeFi). We can also mention the NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which are mainly issued on this blockchain.

Changes in 2023

We remind you that this Thursday Ethereum will pass from the “proof of work” to the “proof of stake” operation, thus changing the engine but without significant changes (at least in the short term) for the user. In fact, if we change the engine of a car, it will be able to continue driving thanks to a new engine, without the driver even changing his driving habits.

Until now, most observers believed The Merge would cut gas tariffs, those fees for making a transaction on Ethereum, which so far are around $ 3 per transaction. In May 2022, the blockchain even experienced an all-time spike in fees payable, averaging $ 200 to complete a transaction. It is particularly because of the high fees that some users have turned to blockchains with low fees, such as Polygon or Solana.

Fees remain lower for making a transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain, currently around $ 1 per transaction. This drop in gas tariffs on Ethereum is expected to happen at a later time, rather by 2023 or later, during the next phase of The Merge, called “The Surge”. Similarly, the goal for Ethereum will therefore be to go from 20 to 100,000 transactions per second, as Vitalik Buterin hopes. But in the foreseeable future, the number of transactions per second won’t really change.

Towards hard forks?

For those who hold the ether, there are some points on which it will be necessary to remain vigilant for tomorrow. In fact, in anticipation of The Merge, centralized platforms such as Coinbase, Kraken or even Binance have decided to block their users’ ether withdrawals and deposits in preparation for a possible hard fork. In a statement, Binance said it made the decision to “reduce the trading risks associated with price volatility and maintain the safety of user funds during the hard fork.”

Recall that a hard fork consists in the separation of a blockchain into two distinct chains, following a division within the developers or the community itself on a fundamental topic related to the protocol of this blockchain. In fact, some players today do not want to go on the Ethereum “proof of proof” and want to stay on the “proof of work”, advancing the idea of ​​alternative blockchains that will exploit the history of the old Ethereum blockchain.

Therefore, if after The Merge there are hard forks, centralized platforms will be able to choose whether to support them or not and return token forks to their users. Specifically, for a user, if he had 1 ether on a platform, he could receive another ether from this same hard fork.

We recall that to date almost two thirds of the ethers (63%) are “staking” (ie deposited) through some centralized platforms (according to the calculations of the Nansen cryptographic data analysis platform), in particular the Lido protocol which concentrates 32% of the ethers , Kraken (8.5%), Coinbase (7.2%) or Binance (6.7%). Some observers speak of potential governance issues after The Merge.

The risks of scams with The Merge

Likewise, in the event of a blockchain hard fork, users will need to be alert to the risk of scams. For example, it will be necessary to guard against the “false” extensions of some digital wallets that will allow access to a blockchain resulting from a fork.

“It will be presented to you as the only extension compatible with the X hard fork and you just have to import your wallet to use it”, stresses the media Au Coin du Bloc. Indeed, it will be a fake platform that steals all funds from users.

Similarly, there is the well-known phenomenon of airdrops, which generally consists of a blockchain or cryptocurrency project that gives away tokens to make itself known. Fake projects may offer users to give them funds, but in reality they will be traps for stealing cryptocurrencies.

“However, it is possible that some decentralized exchange platforms or crypto bridges will allow you to claim the tokens. You will still have to wait for announcements in the official media before taking any action,” the article specifies.

Likewise, for users, it will be a matter of paying attention when buying an NFT in the morning, to avoid any risk of scam when switching to the new blockchain.

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