Ethereum Merge Means Stronger Bitcoin Future
The Ethereum network finally transitioned from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS), and this has caused a bit of turbulence in the cryptocurrency world. Ethereum’s market price has declined sharply, and there is now a $10 billion gap in mining hardware between Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s future looks stronger than ever
Ethereum’s radical shift away from PoW means that Bitcoin’s dominance in the mining space is now much more secure. And with Ethereum out of the picture, Bitcoin is poised to cement its position as the top cryptocurrency.
The Ethereum network has changed its consensus algorithm from proof-of-work (POW) to proof-of-stake (POS). This change is not reversible and is the biggest upheaval the cryptocurrency industry has ever seen.
Changes in the digital currency world do not exist in a vacuum; their effects are felt throughout the entire ecosystem.
As Ethereum’s value falls, Bitcoin benefits by seeming like a more stable investment.
Ethereum’s decline consolidates Bitcoin’s position as the top cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Ethereum’s troubles mean that Bitcoin is now even more likely to remain the dominant player in the cryptocurrency space for years to come.
Security implications of the Ethereum Merge
Bitcoin miners spend a lot of money on top-of-the-line ASIC hardware to compete with other Bitcoin miners to bundle transactions and add them onto the blockchain. The competition over who gets their transaction bundled first is very costly, both monetarily and in time and energy. If network nodes discover that a miner’s block includes invalid transactions, then the entire block will be disqualified, and that person will lose any rewards.
And all their investment in ASIC hardware
The reason that PoW and a network of Bitcoin nodes maintain a secure environment is that it eliminates the need for wealth validation. Ethereum has done away with this model in favor of one which only requires wealth for validation. Such dynamics have also led to validators becoming highly concentrated with no delinked nodes to keep them in check.
51% of the Ethereum validation process is currently controlled by only three entities.
Furthermore, the merger created a huge void in the hardware market. Before the Merge, it is thought that around $10 billion worth of hardware was mining Ethereum regularly. Now that Ethereum uses PoS, at least some of that equipment now mining to lower-cap altcoins that also use PoW; however, those returns are poor in comparison.
And those considering altcoin mining may now reconsider their options after seeing the losses of Ethereum miners. In addition to the financial loss, there is a loss of trust and optimism.
However, there is now more potential for more investment in Bitcoin mining.
The cryptocurrency world is in a constant state of flux, with new projects and technologies emerging all the time. Amid all this change, one thing has remained constant: the importance of proof-of-work (PoW) consensus. PoW is the most widely used consensus algorithm in cryptocurrency, and for good reason. It is secure, efficient, and decentralized.
Because PoW is clearly the superior choice
Now that the Ethereum network has finally switched to PoS, it is already clear that PoW remains the superior consensus algorithm. The aftermath of the Ethereum merge has been marked by increased centralization, forks, and other problems. Meanwhile, Bitcoin continues to chug along smoothly, proving that PoW is still the best way to ensure security and decentralization in a cryptocurrency network.
In the cryptocurrency world, it is widely believed that the network with the most users and the most capital will ultimately be the most successful. This theory has led to a lot of speculation about whether Ethereum or Bitcoin will come out on top in the years to come. In the months leading up to Ethereum’s move to Proof-of-Stake, there was a lot of anticipation that this event might catalyze to accelerate Ethereum’s market cap overtaking that of Bitcoin.
However, since the transition occurred, $40 billion has been shed from Ethereum’s market cap, while Bitcoin’s decline has been only 4%. This has led to a decrease in the ETH/BTC ratio from 0.081 BTC to 0.067 BTC. While it is still early days, this trend suggests that Ethereum may have some catching up to do if it wants to overtake Bitcoin regarding network size and capital inflow.