The highly-anticipated Merge event on the Ethereum ETH/USD blockchain has been moved ahead by four days.
What Happened: Ethereum developer Angsar Dietrichs announced that the ETH developers had decided to bring forward the scheduled date of the merge from Sept. 19 to Sept. 15.
Fun comparison: On the call today we moved the merge date ahead by 4 days (9/19 to 9/15). Those 4 extra days of PoW would have resulted in $100M additional ETH issuance. The Protocol Guild (a core dev funding org) has raised a total of $10M in its entire existence.
— ansgar.eth (@adietrichs) August 11, 2022
Dietrichs noted that the decision was made despite the fact that four extra days of Proof-of-Work ETH would have resulted in $100 million more ETH issuance — a sum that would have made a significant financial impact on ETH developers’ funding.
“Lesson: Deciding not to have in-protocol core development funding is a really hard choice to make. That’s how much we value Ethereum‘s credible neutrality,” he said.
The sooner than anticipated Merge to Proof-of-Stake will also have consequences for ETH miners, who would effectively be out of business when the network transitions.
Some miners have already moved on to mining other blockchain networks like Ethereum Classic ETC/USD while others have opted to continue mining Ethereum PoW, triggering a hard fork in the blockchain, or a split into two ETH chains.
When the merge happens and ETH transitions to POS, there will be two chains. POW and POS.
Miners will try and get the last breath of value before selling their hardware:
They will keep the POW Ethereum alive, effectively hard-forking the blockchain.
— olimpio (@OlimpioCrypto) August 10, 2022
Some exchanges like Poloniex and BitMEX have already launched an ETHPoW token which is being actively traded at the time of writing.
Price Action: As per data from Benzinga Pro, ETH surged to a two-month high of $1,927 on Thursday. At press time, the crypto asset was trading at $1,881, up 1.59% over 24 hours.