This ETH merger, are you a baker, shaker, staker or maker?
If you’re on web3, the biggest news of the week in tech isn’t the massive Figma-Adobe deal. No, the leading story of the last few days — and arguably even the last few weeks — has been the Ethereum merger.
Merge, the long-awaited change to the Ethereum blockchain by switching it from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus system, finally happened this week. And since the shift in technology is expected to reduce the popular blockchain’s carbon footprint by ~99%, we have a lot to get into.
But we don’t want to just riff on the startup angle or the Web3 perspective, because the merger has huge implications for crypto as an industry and its place in the emerging tech world. That’s why we put together a collab episode to hit our startup and blockchain podcast teams on two fronts: Anita and Jacqui from Chain Reaction and Natasha and Alex from Equity. It also gave us a 50-50 Technology Flow-Technology Flow+ split, which was good fun.
We begin by setting the scene with how the anticipation surrounding this monumental event at Web3 has affected token prices and what factors have fueled the optimism. Then we broke down the mechanics behind it why Proof-of-stake is greener, but may be less decentralized than proof-of-work (though we each make different decisions about whether that’s a fair assumption).
Pulling off the merger is an event that requires technical coordination and rigor comparable to the moon landing. Now that it’s done, what impact will web3 have on startups? What about the rest of the tech industry, or big financial institutions, or Chinese crypto miners? We’ve looked at all these questions and more, trying to explain as comprehensively as possible what a merger is and why it’s important.
Just as there are many different stakeholders affected by a merger, everyone thinks differently, so do we. The episode included a lot of back-and-forth as the team unpacked some intriguing pieces of crypto terminology, such as the word “baker” and what it means in the proof-of-stake ecosystem as well as the post-merger timeline, including surge, edge, purge and splurge. No joke — we explain what they mean in this episode.
Thanks to our production crew (huge scout out to Grace, Theresa and Maggie) for some welcome resources.
To learn more about the merger, required reading can be found here, here and here. Forward!
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