The Long-Awaited 'Merge' of Crypto Has Arrived

The most widely used cryptocurrency network, Ethereum, has now fully transitioned to a more energy-efficient architecture.

On Wednesday, just before the stroke of midnight on the West Coast, the time finally came.

Following quite a while of postponements, trial, and error,  Ethereum finished a most anticipated programming update known as the Merge,

The change is anticipated to lower Ethereum's energy usage and pave the way for later upgrades that would make the system more user-friendly and affordable.

Engineers and academics who worked on the Merge had met to commemorate the achievement when celebrations broke out on a YouTube webcast.

In a depressing year for cryptocurrency, which saw a cataclysmic market meltdown wipe out over $1 trillion from the sector and drive some well-known crypto firms into bankruptcy, it was a rare moment of happiness.

“This is going as well as it could so far,” said Danny Ryan, an Ethereum researcher who has worked on the Merge,

A mistake in the Merge might jeopardise the crypto sector as a whole, upending start-ups and driving the market into a spiral.

As a precaution, the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said in August that it will halt some Ethereum deposits and withdrawals during the Merge.