(Paris) The Ethereum blockchain, the world’s most important crypto-currency after that used for bitcoin, has succeeded in technical changes that should make it more efficient and less energy-intensive, according to the main participants of the operation on Thursday.
Posted at 9:50 am.
“And we improved! Vitalik Buterin, co-founder and guardian of this blockchain, wrote on Thursday morning. “All those who contributed to the success of the Merger” [The Merge] can feel very proud today. »
The “merger” consists of changing the mode of verification of transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, a huge tamper-proof computer ledger that serves as the basis for billions of dollars of transactions.
Ether, a cryptocurrency directly related to Ethereum, only accounts for about 20% of the total value of virtual currencies in existence, second only to Bitcoin (40%).
But Ethereum has a much broader range of applications than its competitor, as it serves as a reusable medium for, for example, NFT (Non-Fungible Token) production, games, and applications.
The community behind this blockchain, led by Vitalik Buterin, decided to switch to a less energy-intensive system.
A risky operation, compared by some to replacing a diesel engine with an electric motor in a moving vehicle, but which seems to have gone perfectly.
One by one, the major global cryptocurrency exchanges – Binance, Coinbase, Bitfinex, Bitpanda… – that suspended Ethereum-based exchanges during the operation, have announced their resumption of operations as a sign of their confidence.
“Nobody has activated the alarm”
And the price of ether remained stable at noon, the price of ether fell by 7% by mid-day, settling at around $1992 around 4:15 pm.
“A priori everything went well, no one called an alert” in the small world of cryptocurrencies that communicates in real time on social networks, Manuel Valente of the French platform Coinhouse told AFP.
He added that “decentralized financial applications,” which allow borrowing and lending cryptocurrencies and are the basis of Ethereum, “are working fine.”
The success of the operation confirms that Ethereum has a central place alongside bitcoin in the world of cryptocurrencies and web3, this new era of a more decentralized blockchain-based internet.
“Assuming there are no major issues” on the new Ethereum, “we can expect an increase in activity on this blockchain,” Charlie Erith, director of crypto asset investment fund ByteTree AM, told AFP.
Charlie Erith expects Ether’s market share relative to Bitcoin to rise “over the next few months and years” after the waiting period.
Switching to a mode of operation that is significantly less expensive in terms of electricity – savings of 99% are expected – can only attract the attention of investors “and can only defuse the hostility” of some government authorities, he added, he said.
“Ether market share could reach 25% by the end of the year and 30% by the end of next year,” said Edouard Hindi, chief investment officer at Geneva-based Tyr Capital.
One of the things to pay attention to in the coming weeks is the attitude of former Ethereum “miners”, former validators whose powerful computers are now useless due to the change in the blockchain validation protocol.
A small minority of them have chosen to continue as before, duplicating a de facto “ledger” that records all transactions from the start.
This kind of split has already happened in the world of cryptocurrencies. If such an event, still hypothetical, does not cast doubt on the global credibility of the new Ethereum, it will weaken its drive to fully impose itself on all of its new competitors.