Mainstream media comments on the Merge, says it could prove to be disastrous
In the lead up to the Ethereum upgrade, media outlets express thoughts on the Merge
By Shashank Bhardwaj
The Merge is an upcoming change to Ethereum (ETH) that would transform it from an electricity intensive proof-of-work (PoW) system to a much more efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) system. It seems that the mainstream media has picked up on the buzz surrounding the Merge and are speculating that it might cause the entire market to get thrown into chaos.
The Ethereum network is responsible for most of the $150 billion stablecoin market cap and Ethereum-based decentralised applications (DApps) is about $33 billion in total value.
The sentiments from mainstream media seem to be largely negative. Swan Bitcoin CEO, Cory Klippsten, commented that the upgrade is akin to “trying to fix an airplane in mid flight.” Most outlets also are bringing to light the many risks involved with the upcoming upgrade, saying that it could “prove disastrous” for the Ethereum network and the DApps that exist on the Ethereum blockchain.
“Crypto traders have been holding their breath” ahead of the Merge, British newspaper the Evening Standard said, stating that the entire crypto sphere could be “at risk” due to the no-downtime upgrade.
Anna Becker, CEO and co-founder of EndoTech, believes that if something goes wrong in the Merge, it would mean the downfall of the entire industry. She said, “Ethereum is the infrastructure for many companies to manage their blockchains, so if something goes wrong we have the halt of the industry […] it will be quite troublesome for the industry to survive this period.”
Media outlets also seem to be pessimistic about the nature of the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, saying that it is not “battle-tested” than the secure and proven proof-of-work. Journalist John Quiggin from the Australian national broadcaster ABC shared the sentiments, saying that the new model had only been tested on “experimental blockchains”, and if larger ETH stakers find a way to manipulate the system, the entire blockchain network would be jeopardy.
Despite concerns from the public about the Merge, media outlets also agree that transforming to a proof-of-stake system will make the blockchain much more environmentally friendly than before, with the Ethereum Foundation claiming that it would reduce energy consumption by 99 percent.
Some people also believe that the Merge would subsequently put pressure on other large networks like Bitcoin to also switch to a more sustainable mechanism. Quiggin, who argued against the Merge, also explained the double-edged sword of this, saying, “At a time when the world is desperately trying to reduce energy consumption, Bitcoin uses more energy each year than medium-sized nations such as Argentina. If the Ethereum switch succeeds, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be under immense pressure to deal with this problem.”
Pressure already seems to be building, as electric car manufacturer Tesla, cut ties with Bitcoin last year, saying that they would not be accepting Bitcoin payments until at least half of the cryptocurrency is mined using renewable energy. Meanwhile, earlier this year, the New York Legislature passed a bill to scrutinise Bitcoin miners using carbon-based power.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash
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