The price of Ether increases 10% as increased interest in the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world is caused by an impending "merge."
Vitalik Buterin brought together seven other people to build ethereum.


Ether spiked more than 10% Monday as anticipation grows around a highly anticipated network update following comments from an Ethereum Foundation member last week. 

The token, which is the second biggest cryptocurrency only behind bitcoin, traded at $1,476.04, early Monday, and is up about 48.55% over the last month. 

However, alongside the broader crypto bear market, ether remains down roughly 60% this year after it surged above $4,700 in November. 

The long-awaited and widely speculated merge, dubbed "Ethereum 2.0," is meant to transition ethereum from the energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism to the more efficient proof-of-stake model. 

Over the weekend, the Ethereum Foundation's Tim Beiko said the merge could happen the week of September 19


He noted that nothing yet was finalized in the schedule, and a hard date has been a rarity up until now regarding updates for ethereum. 

The proof-of-work mechanism used currently has been criticized for being too costly and energy inefficient, and the switch to proof-of-stake has been highly anticipated. It's been a long journey however, as the move has been on the table for ethereum since the blockchain first launched 2015. 

So far, the Solana and Tezos blockchains have adopted proof-of-stake mechanisms. 

In April, Ethereum tested the proof-of-stake infrastructure in what was known as a "shadow fork," to determine client readiness and logistics of the switch. The test went well and was repeated twice, suggesting the timeline for the upgrade to the blockchain is moving forward as planned. 

Meanwhile, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted last week his support of proof-of-stake protocols for cryptocurrencies.