On September 15 at 06:42:42 UTC at block 15537393, the Ethereum mainnet merged with Ethereum’s Beacon Chain to complete the widely-anticipated Merge upgrade. The move marked the network’s transition to a Proof-of-Stake consensus protocol, and led to surging interest in Ethereum Classic ($ETC) and a little-known altcoin.

Ethereum Classic is notably seen as the “original” Ethereum blockchain. The network rebranded after the 2016 DAO hack saw the Ethereum community support a hard fork to the network.

According to the Ethereum Foundation, the Merge will make the Ethereum network about 99.95% more energy efficient and will set the stage for future scaling solutions like sharding. The PoS consensus means miners are no longer able to work on Ethereum, which forced many to turn to ETC.

Ethereum Classic’s hashrate notably jumped around 300% from around 66.5 TH/s before the Merge to around 270 TH/s at the time of writing, as miners whose equipment no longer works for Ethereum turned to the network.

A network’s hashrate, it’s worth noting, measures the computational power used to process transactions on the network. A higher hahsrate means a higher level of security. Another little-known altcoin, Ravencoin ($RVN) saw its hashrate surge 51% after the Merge as miners look for alternatives.

Market data shows that Ravencoin’s trading volume exploded over the last 24 hours, to now be one of the top cryptocurrencies in terms of trading volume on top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges, according to CryptoCompare data.

Adding to Ravencoin’s volume, crypto exchange FTX announced the launch of $RVN perpetual futures contracts on September 12. Perpetual futures contracts are derivatives with no expiry and allow traders to bet on the future price of the cryptocurrency.

RVN’s Trading Volume. Source: CryptoCompare

Ravencoin is a cryptocurrency built on a fork of the Bitcoin code. It adds additional features designed to allow individuals to issue tokens on its blockchain, and RVN needs to be burnt on the network to issue assets on the blockchain.

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