Home Business the merger is one of the most historic crypto events of all time

the merger is one of the most historic crypto events of all time

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the merger is one of the most historic crypto events of all time
  • Ben Edgington is one of the main product owners of the Ethereum software company, ConsenSys.
  • As a developer, he says the upgrade is like “replace the engine in mid-flight” in an airplane.
  • Edgington worked around 15 hours a day ahead of the upgrade, which is scheduled for mid-September.

In an industry known for high turnover and volatility — accustomed to both teenage tourism investors and FOMO capital allocators — Ethereum developer Ben Edgington takes a different approach to crypto.

Edgington, founder and product manager of open-source Ethereum consensus client Teku, has been working on the highly anticipated blockchain upgrade, fusion, for 4.5 years. For a space that is only about 15 years old, that’s practically an eon.

From around 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day, it’s “heads down” and focuses on the Ethereum network. Edgington spends half of his time working on Teku for Ethereum software company ConsenSys, and the other half on a technical book he is writing about the smart contract network upgrade series.

“Every day is different. That’s the joy of being in crypto, isn’t it? Every week is an adventure, every day is a drama,” he told Insider, noting that two hours of his working day also took to Twitter. “Everything is crypto from start to finish in one way or another.”

Edgington, who says he is even older than the father of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, worked on the upgrade long before the hype of celebrity and corporate crypto partnerships. Even before the launch of other now popular layer 1 blockchains like Solana and years before Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, he dreamed of having “a place at the table to help develop the protocol of Ethereum”.

“We believe we are building infrastructure that will support decentralized projects for perhaps decades to come,” he said. “Building it right is incredibly important, so that’s what inspires us, the idea that we’re building a global infrastructure on which others will build amazing apps.”

From Wall Street to digital asset hedge funds, many see the merger as a time to capitalize on upside potential and high-return trades. Edgington says that’s “absolutely not our goal as developers.”

“I’m not really interested in price speculation. I’ve personally been working on this for years. Crypto has had its ups and downs,” he said. “The objective is technical and environmental. The price is decoupled for me.”

Fusion “swaps the engine in mid-flight”

It is the third most important event in crypto history, he says, directly after the invention of bitcoin and ethereum.

Scheduled for mid-September, the upgrade will be “the most ambitious thing ever done” in the industry.

The upgrade is “fundamentally revamping a chain that has hundreds of billions of dollars in value, so we’re swapping out the engine mid-flight.”

“The entire Ethereum infrastructure runs on this Proof of Stake platform, so it’s all DeFi activity, all NFT activity, everything that happens on Ethereum,” he added. “That’s hundreds of billions of dollars in business.”

Another way to boost its relevance, says Edgington, is the environmental impact of the upgrade on the network. The merger, which moves Ethereum from the energy-intensive proof-of-work model to the proof-of-stake model, is billed as a way to reduce its energy consumption by 99%.

“Ethereum is emitting close to a megaton of carbon dioxide…which I find appalling,” he said. “Ending this, for me, is huge and has always been a big driver.”

From an economic perspective, he says the upgrade could also double staking revenue. This will allow some users to earn more passive income by contributing to the Ethereum network, while securing it and keeping their tokens.

“What does this mean for stakers? Basically, it means increased reward for staking,” he said. “They become eligible for transaction revenue and MEV, which is the extractable value of miners. It can be extracted from blocks by reordering transactions.”

Edgington says, however, that his work is not done after the merger and he certainly won’t stop building on Ethereum’s network anytime soon.

“I want to emphasize that this is just the beginning, right? We’ve had this concept for a long time, and there are a lot of moving parts to it,” he said. “This is a decade-long program of protocol improvements and upgrades. Maybe then we can retire. I mean, at least I hope.”

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