119. What is the Ethereum Merge?

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What is the Ethereum Merge?


By Golden Noodle

Yes, cryptocurrency is still quite active.  While it’s undoubtedly been a tough year in the world of crypto and the financial world in general, things are still advancing and changing.  It’s exciting times indeed. 
You may have heard of the Ethereum merge that happened a couple of weeks ago on September 15th.  There was a lot of build up in the community prior to the merge.  And no small amount of debate on if ETH would emerge better, worse, or indifferent, and what it meant for the community. 
So what the heck is the merge and why does it matter?
The merge is referencing the event when the Ethereum Mainnet merged with the Beacon chain, a blockchain started in 2020.  The goal was to introduce proof-of-stake (we’ll get to what that means) to Ethereum. It was setup to coordinate the stakers and the technology required to eventually take over the validation operations on the Ethereum Mainnet. Kind of like a test lab to work out a whole new way of processing the debit card transaction that got you that latte this morning. Way behind the scenes, but vitally important on a granular level. 
So what is proof-of-work vs proof-of-stake?  
The proof refers to part of the validation process.  When a transaction occurs it is validated and copied across all the computers that create the network.  Like that debit card transaction that told your bank to give your barista $6.50 for your beverage of choice. 
Proof-of-work is performed by miners.  Their computers compete to solve complex math puzzles to win the right to validate the transaction. Which earns them ETH as payment for doing the work. The new data is then updated to all the nodes.  The computers across the globe that contain a copy of the whole blockchain.  Solving these cryptographic puzzles uses computer energy that the miner invests to receive the reward.
Proof-of-Stake is when that transaction is validated not by a math race, but a group of stakers who have each invested their own Ethereum to win the right to validate and thus receive the reward.  A minimum 32 ETH stake, roughly 40k USD today, is required to be a validator.  The bigger the stake the better the chance to be chosen to validate the transaction.  
Staking ETH in a smart contract to be a validator comes with certain responsibilities that mining didn’t.  As a miner you were competing with no expectation of performance or availability. Go big or small.  Unplug anytime.  As a staker your investment is at risk. Be lazy or dishonest and you lose your stake.  They also keep the blockchain accurately updated and occasionally create new blocks. Ensuring the network is fast, accurate and stable.
After proof-of-stake was developed and fully tested on the Beacon chain it was time to transition by merging with the Mainnet.  A time was chosen by the community and the data from the Mainnet was merged into the proof-of-stake blockchain on September 15, 2022. Mining was disabled and the staked validators began handling transactions.
A major benefit headlining the merge was the reduction in energy usage. According to ethereum.org, “Ethereum’s energy consumption dropped by an estimated 99.95%, making Ethereum a green blockchain.”  The merge also brings scalability options that weren’t possible before.  And is one of many upgrades outlined by the Ethereum community’s vision for the future. 
This video by coindesk I ran across while researching this post is a great 2 minute TLDR explanation of the merge.  
In short, the merge represents a substantial change in the world’s second largest cryptocurrency.  Advancing the technology towards increased capabilities and widening adoption. And eventually earning the reward of helping you a buy a cup of coffee in the floating nation.
No banks required.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


By Boston C!

(Inspired commentary by Boston C! based on “Switch On Your Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf”)

There is a certain type of protein called “prion protein”. It operates like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a metaphor for one who hides an evil side. When a prion protein folds over itself, it plays a crucial role in neurodegenerative diseases that lead to syndromes such as mad cow disease. 
The prion protein abounds in synapses–the contact point where signals are passed from one nerve cell to the next. Prions help create long-term, self-sustaining memories. They are also important in neuroplaticity, which is the change and rewiring that happens in our brain when we think and learn: and finally, they are involved in neurogenesis. 
Point being, this protein does amazing things in the brain in response to good signals and goes crazy in response to negative signals. A chaotic mind filled with uncaptured rogue thoughts of anxiety, worry, and any and all manner of fear-related emotions sends out the wrong signal. 
Practice sending out right signals! 
Up and away today!

River Sound Is Coming!

Can You Hear IT!
We’re excited to announce a new Above The Sun quantum engagement opportunity.
We’re calling it River Sound! 
Hosted by our own Mississippi Sound!
An unrecorded zoom meetup to engage in encouraging relationship.
We’ll deep dive into topics such as;
Listening to our bodies
Communicating with our bodies
Blessing our bodies
Breath and Breathing
Using healthier substances and supplements
The things we consume
Naturopathic care and homeopathy
Emerging and re-emerging health technologies
Living Above The Sun together
River Sound will launch Friday, October 7th at 10:00am CT on zoom. 
Watch the newsletter for more information! 
“Live Above The Sun!”

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