Called the Merge, the software upgrade has been in the works for years, and it will change the way Ethereum orders transactions to become more energy efficient. Instead of using energy-guzzling computers called miners, the network will deploy so-called validators using staked Ether tokens -- a setup called proof of stake. Following years of delays, the time for the Merge is finally being set after Wednesday’s completion of the Goerli merge test, which simulated the Merge on a smaller scale.
Thousands of projects and millions of investors are depending on the Merge to go smoothly. The blockchain is home to more than 3,400 active decentralized apps, allowing for everything from gaming to trading. Ethereum holds 58% of the $69 billion in total value locked in decentralized finance, which are apps allowing for trading, lending and borrowing, according to tracker DeFi Llama.