We’re almost there, folks! The Ethereum Network is about to go through a major upgrade called the Ethereum Merge. This change will be implemented on September 15, 2022, and will have far-reaching implications for the blockchain community as a whole. It’s a monumental step in the right direction for the Ethereum Network, but what exactly does it mean? In this article, we'll go over exactly what's happening with the Ethereum blockchain and give you all the information you need to understand The Merge.
Why does The Merge matter?
Ethereum 2.0 will enable the creation of new projects, applications and services that were simply not possible before. It will also allow developers to build dApps with a level of scalability, security and performance that has never been seen before.
The Merge is a crucial step in this process, as it marks the beginning of Ethereum's transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Once this switch happens, Ethereum's blockchain will be able to support far more transactions per second than ever before — which will make it even easier for businesses to adopt blockchain technology. Moreover, it will be the catalyst for adoption among mainstream users by solving a problem that people have long been concerned about: crypto's impact on the environment.
Energy consumption in proof-of-work systems has been criticised for years. However, when Ethereum completes its transition to proof-of-stake, this will no longer be a problem — at least for Ethereum. How? To explain it simply, PoW utilises significant computational power to solve puzzles (validate blocks), essentially exchanging real-world value in the form of energy for mining rewards. PoS on the other hand, replaces the computational power (miners) in the equation and has users stake their coins instead. In the case of Ethereum 2.0, the real-world value is no longer expended energy, but rather ETH staked directly in a smart contract. This consensus shift will subsequently reduce energy requirements for Ethereum by 99.95%.
And that's just the start. Beyond the immense energy efficiency benefits, Ethereum 2.0 will also improve upon countless other areas of the Ethereum blockchain, such as mitigating the risks of 51% network attacks, while enabling further technical upgrades like sharding — which will vastly increase transaction speeds and significantly reduce gas costs and network congestion during high activity periods.
In addition to The Merge, Ethereum is also slated to have other important updates coming up, collectively known as the surge, verge, purge and splurge. These rhyming additions will further round out the Ethereum blockchain, providing new features like the ability to withdraw staked ETH, letting users become network validators with fewer requirements, removing old network history and so on.
Ethereum has come a long way since it was first released in 2015 and is setting a shining example for other blockchain projects to follow. It has a dedicated team of developers, an active community and a focus on improving the network for its users. With The Merge and all its other upcoming updates, there’s plenty to look forward to when it comes to the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency.
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