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Vitalik: ‘More confident about the merge’ following Ethereum’s successful London upgrade

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has hailed the London hard fork a success, adding that it has given him more confidence over the upcoming merge to the Ethereum 2.0 chain.

Speaking to Bloomberg News from Singapore, Buterin said that the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559 is “definitely the most important part of London.” The upgrade, which went live on Thursday, has tweaked the fee generation mechanism resulting in a portion of the fees being burnt.

At the time of writing, more than 3,500 Ether (ETH) worth around $9.8 million had already been burned since the upgrade launched.

Buterin stated that the successful deployment of the London upgrade is “proof that the Ethereum ecosystem is able to make significant changes.” He added that the upgrade:

“Definitely makes me more confident about the merge.”

According to the official documentation, the current Ethereum mainnet will “merge” with the proof-of-stake (PoS) Beacon Chain, marking the end of proof-of-work for Ethereum. This is planned to precede the rollout of shard chains and is unlikely to happen this year, though Eth2 researchers are working on ways to accelerate the timetable.

Once merged, the new mainnet will have the ability to run smart contracts on PoS, eliminating the power-hungry mining operations and potentially lowering the network’s energy consumption by 99%.

Related: 99.98% less power: Lighthouse’s first Ethereum and Eth2 merge transaction

Apart from fee burning, the London upgrade also ushered in variable block sizes, which means that users are less likely to have to wait as long for transactions to be processed in fixed blocks when under heavy loads. The blocks can now expand or contract dynamically to match the number of incoming transactions. Buterin said that this would vastly improve the user experience:

“Now it gets much easier to send a transaction that will get included in the next block and that’s very important to user experience.”

The developments have been positive for Ether market sentiment, with Forbes running an article on the upgrade claiming that ETH may even flip Bitcoin (BTC).

At the time of writing, Ether was trading up 3% over the past 24 hours at a little under $2,800, according to CoinGecko. ETH’s price has increased by an impressive 37% over the past fortnight and is up a whopping 280% so far this year.

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