September 15th, 2022 was a historic day for the Ethereum community. Ethereum, the world’s largest programmable blockchain, successfully switched to the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. The implications of this move away from energy-intensive Proof of Work (PoW) are profound for the blockchain and the planet: the Merge reduced worldwide electricity consumption by 0.2%.
The Merge was the culmination of the efforts of an open community of Ethereum Core Developers (CoreDevs), researchers, and client teams—many of whom work for Consensys. For nearly seven years, they worked together to build an Ethereum that was more sustainable, more secure, and more scalable.
To thank all the CoreDevs and contributors, and to mark this landmark moment in our nascent ecosystem, Consensys presented the CoreDevs with a set of commemorative NFTs, with the team’s names embedded in the metadata. Regenesis is a collection of art NFTs that are a testament to the capability of decentralized software development. It will forever be tied to the birth of PoS Ethereum, as it holds one of the first NFTs that was minted on Block 1.
But before we get into more details about the NFT collection, let’s recap what the Merge is and why it is important.
Until 2:43 am ET on September 15, the Ethereum network had two blockchain layers running in parallel – one running PoW, called the execution layer (the historic state of Ethereum and block production), and the second running PoS, called the consensus layer. Then, the two layers merged, effectively ending PoW and transitioning the Ethereum mainnet fully to PoS. This event was termed the Ethereum Merge.
To understand the magnitude of this upgrade, consider an analogy: the Ethereum network is a car running on a gas engine, but instead of providing motion to the car, Ethereum’s engine provides security to the entire network. As part of an upgrade, the automotive engineers decide that they want to replace the gas engine with a more efficient electric one, reducing the car’s carbon emissions by 99.99%. They also want to make the switch while the car is running full throttle, and to do so in such a way that the driver doesn’t notice that the engine has been switched. This is what Ethereum’s CoreDevs achieved through the Merge. As a result, the Ethereum network switched from PoW to PoS, with no downtime and no impact to or action required from end users or developers.
Regenesis: The first public NFT mint on PoS Ethereum
Regenesis is a collection of art NFTs celebrating the historic technological milestone the Ethereum community just achieved. Consensys commissioned a series of illustrations, each depicting an elaborately detailed world embodying one of the prime benefits of the Merge: sustainability, security, and scalability.
The first piece in the collection illustrates sustainability. Adopting PoS reduced Ethereum’s energy demand by 99.99%, to support the next generation of sustainable Web3.
The second piece focuses on how the adoption of PoS lays the foundation for scalability, setting the stage for limitless innovation and massive global change in the future.
The third piece illustrates security: Ethereum’s updated crypto-economic model democratizes network participation and provides stronger security guarantees for end users and developers alike. Proof of Stake also opens the door for maximal decentralization and will unlock flowering ecosystems and application development on Ethereum and its L2s.
The Merge is not just a moment for crypto insiders, it is a milestone in the history of the internet. To celebrate the occasion, we are inviting everyone to use Web3-native tools like MetaMask to claim their own piece of this historic moment:an open edition NFT of one of the first collections on PoS Ethereum available at consensys.io/merge. The claim window will close on Sunday 18th September at 6:45am UTC.