The largest non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, OpenSea, is planning to exclusively support NFTs on the Proof-of-Stake version of the Ethereum blockchain once The Merge upgrade is complete.
OpenSea has to date reportedly traded some $31 billion in Ethereum-linked NFTs, with the entirety of the sum being made up by trading NFTs on Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work network. The figure dwarfs volumes seen on NFT markets for other blockchains.
The Ethereum Merge describes the network’s current mainnet merging with the Beacon Chain’s PoS system, setting the stage for future scaling upgrades, including sharding. The move is expected to reduce Ethereum’s energy consumption by 99.95%.
The move away from PoW is said to make the network cheaper, faster, and more environmentally friendly, however, it will also mark the end of an income stream for Ethereum miners who were being rewarded for securing the network.
OpenSea noted it has been preparing to deliver a “smooth transition” to Ethereum as a Proof-of-Stake network, but acknowledged the novel situation will require “monitoring, managing, and commutating throughout.”