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Ethereum Merge: How to check if the Eth switch to PoS was a success - look beyond price

By Raphael Sanis

Edited by Charlie Mellor

09:54, 14 September 2022

A gold Ethereum coin on a price chart
The Ethereum hard fork is said to be capable of processing 100,000 transactions a second – Photo: Alexandru Nika / Shutterstock

Ethereum (ETH) is switching over to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism this week. But co-founder Vitalik Buterin has been vague over the exact time frame, tweeting it will be completed sometime between the 13 and 15 September.

There are several methods to check if the update has gone live, including Ethereum’s official Twitter feed and website. There is also a Google (GOOG) countdown based on difficulty and hashrate, which puts the completion date to 07:27 BST (UTC +1) on 15 September, at the time of writing.

But measuring The Merge’s success is a different challenge.

Scalability improvements

The price of the native asset ETH is an obvious marker as it can measure if more people are flocking to the network. But The Merge was created for more than just a price boost, according to the Ethereum Foundation.


Ethereum’s scalability has been lagging behind competitors. Layer 2 and alternative blockchains can handle a significant amount more transactions and activity on their networks.  

Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum co-founder, said The Merge would see Ethereum’s transactions per second (TPS) surge from roughly 30 TPS to 100,000 TPS.

The Ethereum Foundation added: “These upgrades set the stage for future scalability upgrades, including sharding.”

Reduced energy consumption

The large carbon footprint and energy intensity of the cryptocurrency industry has been often criticised. Proof-of-work (PoW) is the main reason behind this. The complex puzzles being completed to verify blocks requires large amounts of computational power.


171.52 Price
+0.660% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 2.2652


66,743.50 Price
-0.450% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 106.00


3,512.09 Price
+0.070% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 6.00


0.60 Price
+3.190% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.01168

PoS is widely recognised as a less intensive process. Instead of computational power, blocks are verified through validators staking ETH.

The Ethereum Foundation claimed that: “The Merge will reduce Ethereum's energy consumption by 99.95%.”

Research from Ethereum said this would reduce its energy usage to 0.01 terawatts-hours a year (TWh/yr), lower than the 94 TWh/yr used by Netflix (NFLX) and 0.26 TWh/yr used by PayPal (PYPL).

Security concerns

Not all the Ethereum community recognises The Merge as a positive move. Some critics have raised security concerns.

While Bitcoin’s (BTC) PoW blockchain has never been successfully attacked, POS blockchains have.

The specific concern for Ethereum’s new consensus mechanism is that it will inform the node validators their blocks in advance, making it easier to plan attacks.

However, the blockchain claims it will result in higher security. The Ethereum Foundation said:

“[The Merge is] a truly exciting step in realising the Ethereum vision – more scalability, security, and sustainability.”

Markets in this article

Bitcoin / USD
66743.50 USD
-301.8 -0.450%
Ethereum / USD
3512.09 USD
2.4 +0.070%
Alphabet Inc - C (Extended Hours)
179.67 USD
-0.21 -0.120%
Netflix Inc (Extended Hours)
633.47 USD
-6.66 -1.040%
PayPal Holdings (Extended Hours)
59.37 USD
-0.85 -1.420%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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