Ethereum 2.0 is coming with The Merge and it could change the course of crypto forever. It will see the current Ethereum mainnet merge with the Beacon chain proof-of-stake system and allow for a huge change in how dApps are developed on Ethereum. It will mark the end of proof-of-work for Ethereum and allow for further scaling upgrades in the future. It will see Ethereum transition to Ethereum 2.0.
Ethereum is already comfortably the second biggest blockchain in the entire crypto industry and The Merge is undoubtedly the biggest turning point in its history. It is perhaps not an exaggeration to suggest that it represents the biggest development in crypto since the inception of Bitcoin.
Today, we’re going to give you a quick rundown of what you can expect from The Merge and what it means for Ethereum and crypto.
Ethereum 2.0 puts Proof-of-stake at the forefront
The biggest shift in direction is that Ethereum will no longer be a proof-of-work blockchain. Currently, a transaction is declared valid by the network based on the proportion of processing power that determines it to be legitimate. In other words, validators’ votes depend on how strong their CPUs are. In addition to that, validators are rewarded with Ether depending on how much processing power they contribute to the network.
Obviously, this is very energy intensive. Essentially, people will receive more Ether the more energy they use.
That is all going to change though. From now on, a validators vote will depend instead on how much Ether they have staked on their node. Energy will still be required to run the network of course, but there will not be competition between validators to use more energy.
This will dramatically decrease the energy usage of the entire network with Ethereum expected to consume 99.95% less energy.
This will secure the Ethereum network through any energy crisis. In an age where society is becoming more and more conscious of its effect on the environment, it will also make it more appealing to investors.
How Ethereum 2.0 Increases Scalability
Scalability is an issue for every blockchain. Is it nigh on impossible to deliver a scalable and secure network without compromising on decentralization. Ethereum 2.0 aims to build a framework that will allow developers to apply scaling solutions more effectively.
Initially sharding was going to be delivered as part of the merge. Sharding distributes data storage requirements meaning that, unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum 1.0, every computer would not have to store every transaction. The database will be “sharded”.
However, there are already many layer 2 scaling solutions that exist on Ethereum. A layer-2 validates data away from the main Ethereum chain, bundles them together in a less data intensive package and then sends them back to the main-chain to be finally validated.
This is what led to the Ethereum developers prioritizing the shift from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Now they are concentrating on finding the most optimal way to distribute the burden of storing compressed called data from roll up contracts. This will allow exponential growth in network capacity and allow developers to build their own scaling solutions for Ethereum.
This is a form of sharding, as validating transactions is spread across different layer-2 solutions. The main point though, is that the switch to proof-of-stake will facilitate a smoother scalable blockchain.
The Merge has been talked about endlessly. There is huge expectation for how, if it is adapted smoothly it will see the price of Ethereum sky-rocket. In this market however, this is unlikely to happen. This should be viewed as something that will instead secure the Ethereum network and allow it to flourish for years to come.