Sunday, September 24, 2023
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Ethereum merge: What you need to know

Here’s the deal: It’s been a tough year for cryptocurrencies and their legions of fans. So does Ether, his second largest coin that runs on the Ethereum blockchain.

But for months, crypto enthusiasts have been making noise about a complex Ethereum network software upgrade called a “merge.”

In short, the consolidation puts Ethereum’s core infrastructure on a more environmentally sustainable path, reducing its carbon footprint by 99%, according to the nonprofit behind the network. Anyway, this is the simple version. It took years of research and testing to actually do it. As with many things in the encrypted world, nothing was ever done, so it wasn’t clear what was going to happen.

Here’s what you should know:

  • Hear critics accuse cryptocurrencies of consuming as much energy as all of Argentina, or compare Bitcoin’s energy footprint to all refrigerators in America combined When they “Proof of Work” protocol.
  • Historically, both Ethereum and Bitcoin have run proof of work. This requires powerful computers to validate transactions and “mine” new coins through a distributed global computer network.
  • (Hmm, that may still sound sci-fi, but I realize the long explanation puts everyone seriously asleep. Let me summarize this: proof of work = environment bad for the crypto industry, and very bad for the crypto industry.PR).
  • With the long-awaited integration, Ethereum will move to a more energy-efficient “proof of stake” mechanism for validating transactions.

what happened now?

If the integration goes well, the Ethereum network housing the entire community of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) should work as before, but it will use much less power and make the network more secure. supporters say.

Will Bitcoin Follow?

Unlikely. In the world of cryptocurrencies, there is a deep philosophical rift over the usefulness of the underlying technology.

“Frankly, Ethereum and Bitcoin are very different cultures,” says Laura Shin, host of the “Unchained” podcast. As Ethereum has shown, it is technically possible for Bitcoin to modify its infrastructure, but “bitcoiners see proof of work as a great way to secure the network.”

(For more information on merging, see Interview with Shin About CNN Business nightcap show. )

Number of Days: 6%


mortgage interest rate just passed the 6% markreached its highest level since 2008.

Borrowing costs have soared in response to the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes aimed at reining in inflation, which has been stubbornly near 40-year highs for months.

It’s an especially painful time for prospective buyers as home prices remain high, inventory is low, and it’s difficult to save a down payment for day-to-day living expenses.


Freight rail crisis averted, at least for now.

The union and management negotiated late into the night, eventually reaching a tentative agreement around 2:30 a.m. ET to avoid a work stoppage. Limit talks for about 20 hours It seemed stuck until just yesterday.

President Joe Biden personally called negotiators Wednesday night to highlight the seriousness of a possible strike, according to people familiar with the matter.

what happened?

Labor unions representing tens of thousands of conductors and engineers have threatened to quit their jobs this weekend if they can’t secure a frankly pretty basic work-life balance guarantee from their employers. workers were at their breaking point, often working 14 days in a row, never taking sick days (paid or unpaid), and constantly fearing they would be fired if they missed work for health reasons. rice field.

The strike would be economically devastating, hitting consumers, businesses and farmers in America’s battered supply chains and potentially leading to shortages of gas, food and consumer goods, shutting down commuter rail service. I was forced to stop.

Here’s what we know about the deal so far:

  • Union members receive an immediate 14% raise, back pay and bonus. That adds up to an average of $11,000 per employee.
  • The main issue with scheduling appeared to be in favor of the unions. According to Biden’s statement, “These railroad workers will get higher wages, better working conditions, and peace of mind about their medical bills. All of this is hard earned.”
  • The interim agreement “exempts leave for certain medical events from the carrier attendance policy,” the two unions said in a joint statement.
  • Workers will be able to take medical leave for the first time, unions say.
  • However, medical leave is not paid. And there are only two days in the year. Taking time off after exhausting that quota can result in penalties under the points-based system and ultimately lead to termination.

Don’t rule out strikes just yet…

The agreement requires ratification by rank and file members, many of whom resist the idea of ​​concessions. The union agreed not to strike while votes were being tallied.

The mechanics union unit, which already has 5,000 members, voted to reject Thursday’s deal but will try to seek a new deal by the end of the month.

and as a colleague Commentary by Chris Isidorethere are several recent high-profile examples of angry union members voting against proposed resolutions.

A year ago, about 10,000 workers at John Deere went on strike after rejecting a lucrative interim agreement. Likewise, Kellogg’s workers went on strike in his December after negotiators thought a settlement had been reached.

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