Breaking: Historic day for crypto as Ethereum Merge to proof-of-stake occurs
IT’S OFFICIAL! The Ethereum Merge has finally taken effect, with the Ethereum network now officially shifted to proof-of-stake.

The Ethereum Merge has officially taken place, marking the full transition of the network to proof-of-stake (PoS).

On Sept. 15 at 06:42:42 UTC at block 15537393, the long-awaited Merge saw the merging of the Ethereum mainnet execution layer and the Beacon Chain’s consensus layer at the Terminal Total Difficulty of 58750000000000000000000, meaning the network will no longer rely on a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism.

Ethereum (ETH) price gets a slight pump following the Merge in hourly metrics, currently trading at around $1,635, according to data from TradingView.

The Ethereum Foundation said the Merge will make the Ethereum network about 99.95% more energy efficient and will set the stage for future scaling solutions, including sharding.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin celebrated the Merge with a tweet moments after the historical transition happened.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, StarkWare president and co-founder Eli Ben-Sasson that “the immediate importance of the Merge is the dramatic effect on energy consumption.”

Ben-Sasson said it also marks “the first step in a process that will lead to exceedingly widespread adoption of Ethereum,” stating:

“It starts a chain reaction of changes. The end result will be the very broad use of Ethereum’s computing power, and the general population using blockchain-based apps in many different areas of life.”

The Merge has come on the back of several years of hard work from the Ethereum Foundation.

Businesses that issue Ethereum-based exchange-traded products (ETPs) have been busy making their own adjustments about the Merge. Bradley Duke, CEO of the European crypto ETP issuer ETC Group, explained to Cointelegraph that the company has prepared a “forked version” of their ETH-based ETP in case there’s significant support for a PoW fork after the Merge.

“If enough people get behind a fork for whatever reason, we feel the free market will decide on what should live and what should not,” Duke added.

With the Merge complete, the “Surge,” “Verge,” “Purge” and “Splurge” are the final stages left on the Ethereum technical roadmap.

The Surge will increase scalability for rollups through sharding, the Verge will achieve statelessness through Verkle trees, the Purge will eliminate historical data and technical debt, and the Splurge will involve a number of small miscellaneous upgrades.

One of the biggest transitions in the history of blockchain didn't go without opposition. ETHW Core, a group representing proof-of-work miners, announced that they will to conduct a hard fork within 24 hours after the Merge.

The Ethereum Merge has officially taken place at block 15537393 on Thursday at 06:42:42 UTC, transitioning the network from PoW to PoS.

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Community celebrates the Merge by dropping ETH-inspired art and music
Musician Jonathan Mann told highlights of the history of Ethereum through a song and celebrated the Merge with his musical skills.

As the Merge successfully shifted the Ethereum network to proof-of-stake (PoS), the ETH community seized the opportunity to celebrate by dropping artworks and music inspired by Ethereum.

Nonfungible token (NFT) artist Beeple, the creator of one of the most expensive NFTs ever sold, celebrated the Ethereum Merge by publishing an illustration that shows a massive Ethereum logo that seemed to slowly form, assisted by what looks like scientists.

Another community member who makes art influenced by street art and illustration dropped a moving artwork showing a static visual effect over a couple of Ether (ETH) logos. Adding a sense of celebration to the artwork, the creator wrote a description that said, “the time has come.”

Meanwhile, an NFT collection dubbed I Survived the Merge featured cute saplings saying funny words like “the Merge was my idea” or “Merge Deez.” Earlier this month, the ETH Pandas collection dropped NFTs of various artworks featuring the animal that the community chose to represent the merge — the Panda.

Apart from artworks, a community member decided to add nostalgia into the mix by creating a music video for a Merge-inspired song. Musician Jonathan Mann told highlights of the history of Ethereum through a song. With lyrics like “though the road was long, we carried on” and "carbon footprint is all gone," Mann celebrated the Merge with his musical prowess.

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, tweeted a message to thank everyone that helped make the Merge happen. Greeting the community, Buterin highlighted that the Merge is a massive moment for the Ethereum ecosystem and said that the community should feel proud on this day.

Back in June, community members also hyped the Ropsten Testnet Merge that was a prerequisite to the actual Merge that happened today. At that time, Mann also published a song expressing his joy with lyrics like “ETH to the moon!”

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Celsius bankruptcy judge gives the nod for independent examiner probe
An independent examiner is set to investigate Celsius’ digital assets, account commingling, mining business status, and tax payment procedures in its bankruptcy case.

A federal judge overseeing crypto lender Celsius’ bankruptcy case has given the green light for the motion to appoint an independent examiner to investigate aspects of Celsius’ business.

In an order dated Wednesday from the United States Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York, the order notes that the examiner’s investigation will look into Celsius’ digital assets, tax payment procedures and the current status of its mining business following calls for greater transparency.

The examiner will also look into why there was a change in account offerings in April, resulting in some customers being moved from the Earn Program to Custody Services while others were moved to a “Withhold Account.”

The U.S. Trustee had previously referred to a lack of transparency around these accounts, with customers unaware of who holds what account and why. This may be important given Celsius had asked the court to return assets to “custody clients,” but not its “earn-and-borrow” clients.

A motion to appoint an examiner originally came from an Aug. 18 filing from the United States Trustee handling Celsius’ bankruptcy proceedings, citing “significant transparency issues” surrounding Celsius’ business operations.

However, BnkToTheFuture CEO Simon Dixon said the scope of the examiner’s investigation was pared down since the motion was initially filed so that Celsius doesn’t run out of money.

He also noted that Celsius Network CEO Alex Mashinsky would need to provide information on his withdrawals from the platform before the freeze.

The latest order also outlined that the scope of the investigation could be expanded if deemed necessary, but would require consultation with Celsius and the official committee of unsecured creditors.

Celsius will be required to produce all documents the examiner “reasonably deems relevant to perform the Investigation, though Celsius will have grounds to reject a request, which would then be decided by the courts.

Once the identity of the examiner has been approved, they will have seven business days to produce a work plan and budget.

The court will then have seven days to approve these, after which the examiner will have 60 days to complete their investigation.

Celsius filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and froze withdrawals in July. Since then, some depositors have been told their funds will be released, but most are still unable to access their assets with no guarantee they will ever receive them.

It seems as though the Examiner will be very busy once they are appointed, with Dixon also tweeting that the U.S. Trustee already has forty parties ready to be interviewed.

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This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.

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