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Crypto Community Reacts to “Historic” Ethereum Merge Event

Key takeaways

  • Ethereum’s “Merge” to Proof-of-Stake shipped successfully this morning.
  • Vitalik Buterin, Joseph Lubin, and other key community members took to Crypto Twitter to celebrate the upgrade after it shipped.
  • Some prominent Bitcoin personalities criticized Ethereum over the Merge, warning that it would lead to increased centralization.

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Vitalik Buterin, Yuga Labs, Synthetix, and others celebrated Ethereum completing its “Merge” to Proof-of-Stake earlier this morning.

Community Celebrates Merge Event

The Ethereum Merge is finally done—and the crypto community has a lot to say about it.

The number two blockchain’s milestone switch from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake has been the talk of Crypto Twitter in recent weeks, not least since the update shipped at 06:43 UTC this morning. Several prominent community members, projects, and companies have weighed in to comment on the event, most of them taking the opportunity to celebrate its success and congratulate those involved in making the upgrade happen.

Once the merge hit finality, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin took to Twitter to acknowledge the work that went into the update. “This is a big moment for the Ethereum ecosystem. Everyone who helped make the merge happen should feel very proud today,” he wrote.

And we finalized!

Happy merge all. This is a big moment for the Ethereum ecosystem. Everyone who helped make the merge happen should feel very proud today.

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 15, 2022

Joseph Lubin, one of Ethereum’s co-founders alongside Buterin and the founder of Ethereum software company ConsenSys, also tweeted a celebratory message to the community. “Proof of Stake Ethereum is here! Congratulations to the entire community,” he wrote. Ava Labs founder and CEO Emin Gün Sirer said that the event was “a moment and milestone to remember,” applauding the Ethereum developers who had navigated an “enormous technical complexity” to ship the Merge.

Several leading crypto companies and projects also acknowledged the event on Twitter. Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs posted a message praising the Ethereum Foundation, the non-profit organization that works on developing the Ethereum protocol. “Congratulations to the entire Ethereum team on a successful merge,” the NFT giant wrote. “This is a historic moment for us all and a big step in scaling Ethereum to it’s first billion users. We hope you’re celebrating this morning, we sure are!”

Congratulations to the entire Ethereum team on a successful merge. This is a historic moment for us all and a big step in scaling Ethereum to it’s first billion users. We hope you’re celebrating this morning, we sure are!🍾cc: @VitalikButerin, @TimBeiko, the @ethereum foundation.

— Yuga Labs (@yugalabs) September 15, 2022

Layer 2 network Optimism wrote that the Merge marked “the future of Ethereum,” while Synthetix, one of the first DeFi projects to launch on Ethereum, said that today was “a truly special day” when announcing that its contracts had been unsuspended following the event.

Bitcoin Purists Raise Centralization Concerns

While the Ethereum community widely celebrated the event, the Merge has received some pushback. Samson Mow, an ardent Bitcoin supporter who’s sometimes described as a “maximalist” due to his aversion toward other blockchain projects, slammed Ethereum in a tweet ahead of the Merge. “ETH fanboys watching the merge with anticipation is funny. There can be no technical failures in Ethereum because Ethereum’s existence isn’t predicated on any technology – it already failed in 2016 with the DAO fork. What exists today is a database run by a marketing company,” he wrote. Mow is one of many Bitcoin purists who take the view that Ethereum is a centralized network. He and other Bitcoin fans have long argued that Proof-of-Stake increases centralization, asserting that Proof-of-Work is key to Bitcoin’s value proposition.

What Bitcoin Did podcast host Peter McCormack also weighed in, likening the Merge to Bitcoin’s infamous SegWit2x block size wars. McCormack said that while Bitcoin successfully fought against “a push for centralization” with SegWit2x, the Merge going ahead was a sign that “Ethereum has failed” to prevent centralization. McCormack warned that the consequences of the Merge would “likely be felt some time down the road.”

After Bitcoin’s whitepaper release, Ethereum’s merge is the most consequential event in crypto’s history.

It happens in less than 24 hours.

I feel awe and gratitude toward the beautiful minds that enabled both of these events 🌄

— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) September 14, 2022

Mow and McCormack weren’t the only Bitcoiners to comment on the Merge, though. ShapeShift founder and Bitcoin pioneer Erik Voorhees also paid tribute to the event Wednesday, saying it was the most important event in crypto history aside from the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper. “I feel awe and gratitude toward the beautiful minds that enabled both of these events,” he wrote.

Editor’s note: This piece was amended to add comments from Ava Labs founder and CEO Emin Gun Sirer.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH, SNX, some Otherside NFTs, and several other fungible and non-fungible cryptocurrencies.

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