What is Ethereum 2.0? Understanding the Ethereum Merge

 What is Ethereum 2.0? Understanding the Ethereum Merge

What is The Merge?

  • Eventually the current Ethereum Mainnet will "merge" with the beacon chain proof-of-stake system.
  • This will mark the end of proof-of-work for Ethereum, and the full transition to proof-of-stake.
  • This is planned to precede the roll out of shard chains.
  • We formerly referred to this as "the docking."

Where did Ethereum 2.0 come from?

Ethereum always had, as part of its roadmap, plans to scale the network in a decentralized way and to transition to proof-of-stake. Early on, researchers worked on these efforts separately, but around 2018 they were combined into a single roadmap under the “Ethereum 2.0” umbrella.

As part of that roadmap, the existing proof-of-work chain (Eth1) would eventually be deprecated via the difficulty bomb. Users & applications would migrate to a new, proof-of-stake Ethereum chain, known as Eth2.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum was created in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin to let anyone “write smart contracts and decentralized applications (dapps).” (whitepaper). Learn more here.

It's vital to recall that the Beacon Chain and Mainnet - the chain we use today - delivered separately at first. Even if the Ethereum Mainnet is still protected by proof-of-work, the Beacon Chain is secured by proof-of-stake. When these two systems merge, it's known as the Merge.

Consider Ethereum to be a spaceship that isn't quite ready for intergalactic travel. The community has created a new engine and a hardened hull using the Beacon Chain. When the time comes, the present ship will dock with the new system, combining into one ship capable of putting in serious lightyears and taking on the cosmos.

Proof of Work Vs. Proof of Stake | PoW vs. PoS | Explained in Simple Terms. Click here.

Merging with Mainnet 

When it's finished, Ethereum Mainnet will "merge" with the Beacon Chain, becoming its own shard that employs proof-of-stake rather than proof-of-work.

To guarantee a smooth transition for all ETH holders and users, Mainnet will introduce the ability to run smart contracts into the proof-of-stake system, as well as the whole history and present status of Ethereum.

What are Smart Contracts?

The Ethereum network relies heavily on smart contracts. Learn more about this amazing technology and why it has the potential to be revolutionary by clicking here.

After the Merge

This will mark the end of Ethereum's proof-of-work era and the beginning of a more sustainable, environmentally friendly Ethereum. Ethereum will be one step closer to attaining the full scale, security, and long-term viability envisioned in the Ethereum vision at this moment.

It's worth noting that one of The Merge's implementation goals is to make the transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake as simple as possible. Developers are concentrating their efforts on this transition and avoiding adding features that might cause the transition to be delayed.

As a result, some functionality, such as the ability to withdraw staked ETH, will have to wait until after The Merge is complete. A post-merge "cleanup" upgrade to handle these features is planned, and it should happen soon after The Merge is done. 

Ethereum Roadmap

  • Eth1 → execution layer
  • Eth2 → consensus layer
  • Execution layer + consensus layer = Ethereum

What difference will the Merge make?

  • The amount of energy required for transaction validation is reduced. According to some reports, following the Merge, transactions will consume 99.95 percent less energy.
  • One of the main reasons for the Merge is to ensure long-term viability. The improvements that Ethereum's developers are making today will help the team in the long run and allow them to get to the next stage of their plan. Without the Merge, post-merge improvements will be impossible.

Unfortunately, as Tim Beiko told Fortune magazine, the Merge will not result in a significant reduction in gas prices right now. When Shard Chains are implemented next year, these reductions will (supposedly) take place. These improvements will make Ethereum more scalable, reducing the congestion concerns that every Ethereum user has grown to expect and pay for.


Relationship Between Upgrades

The Ethereum updates are all connected in some way. Let's have a look at how The Merge interacts with the other improvements.

The Beacon Chain and the Merge

Stakers will be allocated to validate the Ethereum Mainnet after The Merge occurs. Miners would likely put their revenues towards staking in the new proof-of-stake system after mining is no longer necessary.

Merge and shard chains are two chains that are linked together.

Prior to The Merge, the intention was to develop on shard chains to solve scalability. With the rise of layer 2 scaling solutions, the focus has switched to using The Merge to go from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake.

The community will continue to analyze the requirement for perhaps numerous rounds of shard chains to enable for infinite scalability.

Thank you for reading!

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