This ETH Merger Are You A Baker, Shaker, Bettor Or Maker?
The merger, an upgrade to Ethereum’s blockchain that moved it from a proof-of-work (PoW) system to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus system, was a long-awaited change that finally happened this week. And since the change in technology is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of the popular blockchain by ~99%, we had a lot to dig into.
But we didn’t want to just deal with the startup angle or the web3 perspective because the merger had huge implications for crypto as an industry and its place in the world of emerging technology. That’s why we brought together our startup and blockchain podcast teams for a joint episode to hit both corners: Anita and Jackie from Chain Reaction and Natasha and Alex from Equity. It also gave us a 50-50 TechCrunch-TechCrunch+ split, which was a lot of fun.
We started by setting the scene with how the anticipation surrounding this monumental web3 event has affected token prices and delved into what factors fueled the optimism. Next we broke the mechanics in the back why proof-of-stake is greener, but may be less decentralized than proof-of-work (although we all have different opinions on whether this is a fair assessment).
Making Merge was an event requiring such technical coordination and rigor that it has been compared to the moon landing. Now that this happens, what will the impacts be on web3 startups? What about the rest of the tech industry, or large financial institutionsor Chinese crypto miners? We’ve looked at all these questions and more, trying to look at what a merger is and why it matters through as holistic a view as possible.
Just as there are tons of different stakeholders affected by the merger who all think differently, so do we. This episode had a lot of back and forth as the team unpacked some weird bits of crypto jargon like the term “baker” and what it means in a proof-of-stake ecosystem, as well as the timeline of what’s coming after the merger involving Surge, Verge , Purge and Splurge. No joke – we explain what they mean in this episode.
We’ll be doing more of this sort of thing over time, thanks to the welcome resources for our production team (huge congratulations to Grace, Teresa and Maggie).