A fork of Ethereum that keeps POW. The merge was executed on September 15th, 2022. This completed Ethereum's transition to proof-of-stake consensus, officially deprecating proof-of-work and reducing energy consumption by ~99.95%
The merge was the joining of the original execution layer of Ethereum (the mainnet that has existed since genesis) with its new proof-of-stake consensus layer, the Beacon Chain. It eliminated the need for energy-intensive mining and instead enabled the network to be secured using staked ETH. It was a truly exciting step in realizing the Ethereum vision—more scalability, security, and sustainability.