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Art, Ethereum and the Merge

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Ethereum The Merge system ETH golden symbol on dark red background. Ethereum ETH will merge with Beacon Chain proof of stake system PoS. Vector illustration.

In the context of a serious global energy crisis (probably only just beginning), Artmarket.com has been closely watching the transition to a totally carbon-free blockchain. This is now a reality with Ethereum 2.0 after its “The Merge” operation. Indeed, according to its founder, Vitalik Buterin, after 7 years of development and successful beta tests, “The Merge” – a switch from “Proof of Work” (PoW) to “Proof of Stake” (PoS) – will reduce the energy consumption of the ETH Blockchain by over 99.95%, (source: https://ethereum.foundation/).

Before the transition had even been rolled out, Ethereum (ETH) managed to capture the  interest of web 2 giant, Google, whose web 3 team, motivated by Ethereum’s initiative, rushed to post a doodle displaying a countdown to the “The Merge” transition. Google’s move represents a superb victory for the cryptocurrency and an extremely advantageous consecration for Ethereum 2.0.

In a global context where concerns about what may be called “the energy war” and about global warming are reaching paroxysmal levels, this news is absolutely vital. As a result of this initiative, the Central Bank of Norway – a country where ecological issues are given top priority – has announced it will build its MNBC (central bank digital currency) on Ethereum. Meanwhile, the Bank of America now sees Ethereum as a virtuous investment by referring to it as “green giant”.

The art market can only benefit from “The Merge”. The French newspaper Le Parisien reports Joe Lubin, Ethereum’s co-creator, as saying “many digital artists and art collectors were reluctant to acquire digital works that involved burning so much fossil fuel to produce them… With this transition, these concerns are receding and interesting projects are going to start right from the production of the very first chain blocks after “the merge”. It’s going to liberate a tremendous amount of creative energy.

Lubin adds, “It won’t directly affect Russian gas or gasoline prices, but it will be a powerful message sent to the world when we replace highly energy-consuming mining by a structure that consumes the electricity needed to produce a cup of coffee. It’s a profound change that will happen just like an automatic smartphone update.

Artmarket.com therefore expects to see an exponential growth in artistic creation, and that of the art-NFT market in particular. A number of famous artists have already turned towards art-NFTs, as have a number of major art museums. Over the past year, Artmarket.com has expressed its preference for the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain, particularly during its AGM and in its various financial press releases, and it has put all its IT and human resources into confirming its success with NFTs and the Metaverse which represents the backbone of web 3.0. The world famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is considering an upcoming sale for around 70 million dollars of works of art via Sotheby’s, with the possibility of investing the proceeds from these sales in the purchase of NFTs, on the advice of a team of experts in charge of following the NFT markets and finding the most promising artists there.

According to Artprice by Artmarket’s CEO and founder thierry Ehrmann, “In the history of cryptocurrencies, The Merge operation, this 15 september 2022, represents a founding and irrevocable date for Web 3.0 and for art-NFTs, and it could well generate a ‘flippening’ with Ethereum overtaking Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization in the coming months.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Economist at Knightsbridge holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Crypto, Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.