Ethereum is expected to move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) on or around September 15, 2022, making it more secure, less energy intensive, and better for implementing new scaling solutions. Rest assured that your assets will be safe during this period and there is no need to upgrade on your end. The following section outlines what you can expect from Unocoin ahead of The Merge.
This is designed to take care of the energy-intensive mining process while securing the network with the ETH stake. This move is expected to make the Ethereum network more secure, sustainable and scalable.
To gain more clarity and understanding, let’s dive a little deeper into the technical side.
The Beacon Chain: Processing Engine Ethereum 2.0
The Beacon Chain is the cornerstone of the Ethereum 2.0 architecture. It exists as a separate blockchain to the Ethereum network and runs in parallel. It does not process any transactions on the mainnet, but achieves consensus on its own. This is done by agreeing to the active validators and their account balances.
The Beacon Chain is secured by a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm, unlike the Ethereum mainnet, which still runs on proof-of-work. It was created on December 1, 2020.
Simply put, the Beacon Chain has until now functioned as the de-facto testnet for Ethereum 2.0, but everything will change with Merge.
As seen in the diagram above, The Merge represents the moment when two systems (the current Ethereum mainnet running on PoW and the Beacon Chain running on PoS) come together. This will replace the PoW consensus algorithm with proof-of-stake – permanently.
This has some significant implications for the network, but critical considerations include:
- No history is lost
- Funds are safe
- No more ETH mining
When is the merger?
It’s worth noting that Ethereum 2.0 has been years in the making, with the exact date of “The Merge” always looking like something to happen in the not-so-bright distant future.
It all ended on July 14, 2022, when a member of the Ethereum Foundation shared a timeline with what was later described as a “soft” plan for the merger.
These are the five stages of the merge
The five stages are as follows:
This is the transition from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake discussed hereafter merging the current Ethereum mainnet with the Beacon Chain.
This is the phase that will bring protocol sharding. It’s a scaling solution that would divide the network into separate partitions called “shards” that are designed to spread the computing load across the main network.
This phase concerns the introduction of so-called “Merkle trees”. It includes an upgrade to Merkle proofs and is intended to optimize data storage for Ethereum nodes.
Similarly, this upgrade also applies to data storage for validators and will reduce the hard disk space required for validators and ease network congestion.
This is the latest update in the pipeline and is intended to deliver a number of different updates that are made to ensure the overall smoothness of the network.
The problems before the merge and why merge is better for ETH ecosystem
The Merge is an upgrade to the Ethereum platform that merges the Ethereum Mainnet with the Beacon Chain, marking the transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake.
If you’re not very into blockchain and cryptocurrencies, this probably doesn’t make sense, so here’s a simpler definition: The Merge is an upgrade to Ethereum that does away with traditional mining — meaning powerful computers solve mathematical puzzles to run the network and create new coins — and switches to a system where owners of the base currency, Ether or ETH, can stake (hence proof-of-stake) to power the network.
In even simpler terms, the computers that used tons of electricity to power Ethereum are gone and replaced by computers that use dramatically less electricity.
This has massive implications for Ethereum’s energy consumption. After the merger, Ethereum should become much greener, leaving Bitcoin as the only major blockchain that still relies on proof of work. According to the Ethereum Foundation, Ethereum’s energy consumption will decrease by 99.95% after The Merge. All talk of NFTs not being green will be obsolete.
The Merge is also the first of many important upgrades that should make Ethereum more scalable and cheaper.
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