successful transition for the Ethereum blockchain

“And we have finalized! “ Vitalik Buterin did not hide his satisfaction on Thursday 15 September. The co-founder of the “chain of blocks” (blockchain) Ethereum has welcomed, on the Twitter social network, a particularly important technical change just made by its platform, which should make it more efficient and less energy-intensive. “Everyone who has contributed to Merge’s success [“la Fusion”] can feel very proud today “He added.

Dubbed “The Merge”, this major technical shift is to change the way transactions are validated on the Ethereum blockchain, a huge tamper-proof computer ledger that serves as the basis for billions of dollars in transactions. The community behind this blockchain, led by Vitalik Buterin, has in fact decided to move towards a system considered less energy-intensive: from a protocol based on the “proof of work” (proof of work), Ethereum switched to another protocol based on “proof of stake” (proof of participation).

Read our explanations: what is the transition of Ethereum from “proof-of-work” to “proof-of-stake”

“No one has triggered an alert”

The stakes are high for the industry. Of course, ether, the cryptocurrency supported by Ethereum, represents only about 20% of the total value of existing virtual currencies, which is half that of bitcoin (40%), the most widely used cryptocurrency in the world. But Ethereum has a much wider application scope than its competitor, as it serves as a support for multiple uses, such as NFT manufacturing (non-fungible token, digital certificates), games and applications. Making such a technical step when many services are based on this blockchain was therefore risky: the operation has often been compared to replacing the engine of an airplane in flight.

Read also: Crypto-art: Over $ 100 million worth of NFTs stolen in one year

One after another, the major global cryptocurrency exchanges – BinanceCoinbase, Bitfinex, Bitpanda… -, who had suspended Ethereum-based exchanges during the transition, announced that they were resuming operations, a sign of their trust. Furthermore, the price of ether was stable at midday, slightly down around 1,595 euros for 1 ether.

“A priori everything went well, no one activated the alert” in the small world of cryptocurrencies, which communicates in real time on social networks, Manuel Valente, of the French platform Coinhouse, explained to Agence France-Presse (AFP). “Decentralized finance applications”which allow you to borrow and lend cryptocurrencies and which are the spearhead of Ethereum, “it works properly”He added.

What future for the “minors”?

One of the points to keep an eye on, however, in the coming weeks is the attitude of the former Ethereum miners, whose job until now consisted of validating transactions by solving very complex calculations, which required powerful computers. . With the proof-of-stake protocol, validating transactions no longer requires performing calculations (called “the job”) but rather demonstrating that you own a share of the cryptocurrency in question (“the stake”). All those expensive machines that miners have invested in over the years are now useless.

A small minority of them, opposed to the Ethereum mutation, therefore decided to continue working the old way. So now two different validation systems operate in parallel, resulting in a forkeda branch, as it is called in the jargon of the crypto-asset world: the large ledger that collects all the transactions of the Ethereum blockchain is duplicated.

This kind of schism it has already happened in the world of cryptocurrencies. If continued, such duplication would not call into question the overall credibility of the new Ethereum, but it could still cause a number of technical problems, confuse ether holders, and create risks of attack or embezzlement.

Read also: At the Crypto Policy Symposium, crypto-economy skeptics meet resistance

The world with AFP

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