Ethereum Just Got Much Greener – How Will the NFT Scene Change? – ART news | Jewelry Dukan

Ethereum just got a lot greener. On Wednesday, the team behind Ethereum updated its software architecture in what is known as “The Merge”.

As part of this update, Ethereum stopped using the proof-of-work System that requires large amounts of computing power to “mine” Ethereum and has been criticized for how its exorbitant power consumption releases large amounts of carbon emissions, to the point of a proof-of-mission System that allows users to validate new blocks on the chain (the so-called permanent ledger) and earn new eth tokens by providing pre-existing eth tokens as collateral in a process known as staking.

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Proof-of-Stake is far more environmentally friendly, and will reduce Ethereum’s overall carbon footprint by 99.992 percent, according to recent studies. (The Ethereum website compared that the switch is roughly equivalent to Finland’s total annual electricity consumption.)

However, proof-of-stake is not new – it is already being used by Ethereum’s competitors such as Tezos and Solana. Ethereum’s transition took so long because it was originally built on a proof-of-work system, and seamlessly migrating the architecture was a complicated technological feat that at various points seemed impossible to solve. But the conversion that was initiated on Thursday has so far gone very smoothly.

“This is one of the most important moments in crypto history so far,” said Josh Hardy, the technology director of NFT platform Daata ARTnews. “There was so much noise being made about the environment and it was a real counteracting factor to the whole movement. It was a perfectly legitimate concern, but the fact that it justified entire other blockchains is kind of insane.”

Like many in the NFT space, when the environmental debate surrounding Ethereum was raging, the team at Daata seriously considered imprinting their artists’ work on an alternative chain like Tezos that was already proof-of-stake. But Hardy pushed to keep building on Ethereum. “I knew the merger was coming,” he said, explaining why it didn’t make sense for Daata to switch to alternate chains that were less valuable. At its peak, Eth traded at around $4,000 per token, while Tezos peaked at around $8.

Although the environmental debate frustrated Hardy at times, he admitted that he did not believe the merger would have happened in such an accelerated time frame had it not been for an uproar from environmental activists. “I think the folks at the Ethereum Foundation really pushed it for that reason,” he said.

Jon Perkins, co-founder of NFT marketplace SuperRare, see that Reasoning for the merger, however, different. “I remember going to conferences in the very early days and proof-of-work was always said to be some kind of necessary evil to get eth off the ground,” he said. “But the developer community has basically been explicit from day one that the plan is to migrate to proof-of-stake as soon as possible.”

That the merger will come after the 2021 bull run for NFTs and cryptocurrencies in general and the criticism that came with it should not be discounted. Regardless, this is a huge win for those in the NFT space at a difficult time. After the crypto crash in 2022, the crypto market rose from a valuation of $3 trillion to $1 trillion and the NFT market reflects this with a sharp drop in sales volume.

Ethereum was designed by Vitalik Buterin when he was a teenager and launched in 2015. It had some major technical limitations that he wanted to gradually address. One of the upcoming technical tweaks will address another important issue: Ethereum’s loading capabilities. It can be prohibitively expensive to transact on Ethereum when many people are using the system, leading to spikes in so-called “gas fees” that can range from $10 to $1000 depending on the type of transaction. Now that the merge has gone well, there’s a boost of confidence that the developers can actually pull these others through changes. There There was uncertainty as to whether these corrections could be pulled through as building on Ethereum was viewed as a bit of a gamble.

“When we started building on Ethereum in 2017, we had a lot of confidence in the future steps that core developers would take in this open-source ecosystem,” said John Crain, the other co-founder of SuperRare. “The success of this inspires a lot of confidence going forward because it greatly reduces the risk of building on Ethereum in the long term.”

Crain and Perkins hope the merger will allow NFTs not only to return to the levels of their mid-2021 peak, but to encourage more people than ever to enter space.

“There are probably hundreds of thousands of people who have been waiting on the sidelines and now feel like they can participate in the crypto market in the months or years to come,” Perkins said.

Now that Ethereum is as eco-friendly as other proof-of-stake chains, the question is whether or not alternative chains can truly hold their own against Eth — without that eco-benefit. But Joanie Lemercier, an artist and environmentalist who has shaped his work on Tezos from the very beginning, has no plans to leave Tezos any time soon.

“I’m not a millionaire like the few friends I have who have minted on Ethereum and dismissed the environmental issues,” Lemercier said. Still, he has no regrets about his decision to mint on Tezos, citing that while his work hasn’t sold at “ridiculous” prices, sales have been steady and weren’t nearly as hard hit by the crypto crash as artists trading on Ethereum . He says he has had similar sales to last year and is making more money than his physical work, which is being sold through a gallery in New York.

“And the fact that the merger didn’t really help increase Ethereum’s value doesn’t bode well,” Lemercier added. “Since sales on Ethereum are very poor, there is no benefit in switching now, it just doesn’t sell.”

It is true that Ethereum’s price barely twitched – Eth is currently worth around $1,400, down more than 60 percent of Eth’s value at this time last year – even as the good news flooded news sites and social media. But it’s still early.

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