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23 September 2022

The First PoS NFT Minted Moments After the Ethereum Merge

The second largest blockchain network, Ethereum, recently shifted to a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism from a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus after completing “The Merge.” While the long-awaited Merge is a historic event on its own, the first PoS NFT was minted moments after it.


The First PoS NFT Minted Moments After the Ethereum Merge


The Ethereum community did not waste any time and immediately started minting NFTs on the PoS consensus. Officially, the Merge happened at 6:42 am (UTC) on Thursday, September 15th. Just 28 minutes later, at 07:08 am (UTC), the mint and sale of the first PoS NFT was announced.


This Non-Fungible Token tagged “The Transition” is a time capsule with the iconic Merge panda face. It’s part of a panda-faced collection of 100 NFTs commemorating the Ethereum Merge.


The Merge


The Merge is a significant change for the Ethereum blockchain. The shift to a PoS consensus mechanism essentially changes the underpinnings of how the blockchain operates. Still, many people are concerned that it changes nothing for users, as gas fees remain just as high as before.


The Ethereum Foundation does not argue against this notion, and they had already mentioned previously that the Merge would not increase transaction speeds or decrease gas fees, at least for the short term.


They clearly stated that the event is not an expansion for the Ethereum blockchain but rather just a transition in the consensus mechanism. Although, experts agree that this transition will bring infrastructure improvements and scaling solutions that can help reduce gas fees in the long run.


Why Change the Consensus Mechanism?


Ethereum was created as a Proof of Work blockchain that requires nodes or computers on the Ethereum network to process complex computations for mining new blocks of transactions. This is the same consensus mechanism used by Bitcoin, the largest blockchain network in the world.


PoW consensus consumes immense energy to run blockchain networks, especially when they are as big as Ethereum or Bitcoin. It is estimated that running the Bitcoin blockchain alone consumes nearly the same amount of energy as entire countries like Norway and Ukraine consume per annum.


On the other hand, a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism offers a more efficient and eco-friendly solution for blockchains because it does not require the computational power, hardware costs, or energy consumption needed to run PoW blockchains.


Instead, it employs validator nodes to “stake” their native cryptos and lock them away for a certain period to validate new blocks of transactions. Theoretically, a shift to PoS consensus can reduce the energy consumption of a large PoW blockchain like Ethereum by up to 99 percent.


Some estimates show that Ethereum’s Merge or transition to a PoS consensus mechanism could reduce global energy consumption by a whopping 0.2 percent.


The infrastructural and environmental benefits are incredible, and they also open the gates for institutional investors, who previously backed away from Ethereum due to environmental concerns.


Ultimately, the Merge allows the Ethereum blockchain to scale, improve infrastructure, and become considerably more sustainable to help reduce gas fees for users in the long run.


The First PoS NFTs on Ethereum


Within an hour of the Merge, the Ethereum community was already taking advantage of their now PoS blockchain. The first Non-Fungible Token called “The Transition” was minted for 36 Ether (ETH), which is a relatively high price for an NFT.


The NFT is part of a collection of 100 similar panda-faced NFTs that commemorate the Merge, and the floor price for this collection is 0.6 ETH. Once the first NFT was announced, social platforms exploded with comments and excitement about the next gen of NFTs.


Some even compared the iconic Merge panda face as being the new Ape (personas from the highly-prized Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection). It didn’t take long for many other firsts to emerge from the new Ethereum.


The first “official” NFT collection minted on the PoS era of Ethereum was announced by Sheldon Evans, founder of Bloom, which is a Web3 lifestyle brand. Users around the world are excited about their first minted assets on the PoS consensus, while buyers are proudly displaying their first purchase of such PoS digital assets.


Most notably, however, the Merge caught the attention of popular American digital artist Beeple, who subsequently developed an illustration inspired by the Merge. It is titled “THE MERGE” and displays an Ethereum logo being transformed in a lab by technicians and scientists.


Soon after, Beeple also created another illustration titled “PROOF OF STAKE”, which shows a man controlling and riding a giant cyborg panda. On the other hand, Ethereum Foundation members expressed their creativity by composing and performing a song for the Merge.


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