What Is ‘The Merge’? Ethereums Move to Proof of Stake

Ethereum is one of the biggest success stories to come out of the crypto market. Despite extreme volatility, it remains the second most popular name in the industry. It currently has a market cap of around $198 billion, making up around 20% of the entire crypto sector. It’s no secret that crypto has been struggling over the last couple of years.

Proof of work was a clever kludge—it wasn’t perfect, but it worked well enough. These countries need the power to keep their businesses running and their homes warm. One of the world’s biggest blockchains is testing a new way to approve transactions. The move has been many years in the making but doesn’t come without risks. You’ll still be able to head to block explorers like Etherscan to get a complete record of the Ethereum blockchain.

Any system that uses proof of work will naturally re-centralize. Of course, Ethereum’s move to proof of stake has been six months away for years now. “[We thought] it would take one year to [implement] POS … but it actually [has] taken around six years,” Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, told Fortune in May 2021.

All of the smart contracts, coins, and NFTs that exist on the current chain would be automatically duplicated on the forked, or copied chain. The fact that one of the major crypto players invested time and money laying the groundwork for a less destructive and more efficient ecosystem is an enormous achievement. That signal alone may prove transformative for the Web3 industry, which is still getting steady VC investment and could find new fuel in buoyed public perception. After the merge, subsequent upgrades will increase the capacity and speed of the network by introducing “shard chains.” These will expand the network to 64 blockchains. The merge needs to happen first because these shard chains rely on staking.

It turns out it isn’t easy to get these users around the world to agree with each other, so decentralized money was out of reach for researchers for a long time. Proof-of-work is the innovative algorithm that Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto came up with, making decentralized money without a leader come to life for the first time. The Bitcoin network was the first to solve this problem with proof-of-work. Proof-of-stake has emerged as a possible alternative that some researchers think is both more energy efficient and more secure. But the good news (you can say so) is that the duplication problem already occurred in 2016.

Recently, a report from the White House said that crypto mining’s energy consumption undermines U.S. sustainability goals. On the other hand, some argue Bitcoin’s energy use is not that bad because the current financial system also uses plenty of energy. Proof-of-stake is a method of maintaining the integrity of a cryptocurrency, preventing users from printing extra coins they didn’t earn. While a different method, called proof-of-work, is currently used by Bitcoin and Dogecoin, for example. Proof of Work and Proof of Stake are both consensus mechanisms that prevent fraud in decentralized systems where no third party like a state or bank has any oversight.

Proof of Work: Security via Energy Consumption

In proof-of-stake, miners are more likely to win additional blocks if they have more money – ether, in the case of Ethereum. In other words, proof-of-stake relies on «proof» of how much «stake» users have. As bitcoin mining has become concentrated, some groups have become more powerful than Bitcoin’s creator intended. You often hear critiques that Bitcoin uses as much energy as all of Argentina or some other nation.

  • The huge transaction costs of Ethereum is an extremely interesting dynamic.
  • In the end, people would conclude that the currency isn’t worth anything because it results in fights.
  • Moreover, Ethereum is a nig network with users and developers all around the world.
  • July’s price surge, however, illustrates how important the difference between PoW and PoS is.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now. Instead of just one leader, thousands of users run the Bitcoin software all over the world.


Rebecca Ackermann is a writer, designer, and artist based in San Francisco. She wrote about the promises of crypto and Web3 for MIT Technology Review’s Money Issue earlier this year. The crypto industry is investing heavily in getting more people to buy in. Everyone who helped make the merge happen should feel very proud today. The following provides an end-to-end explanation of how a transaction gets executed in Ethereum proof-of-stake.

There’s a new version of this page but it’s only in English right now.

Ethereum: Why are Whales Bidding Adue to Ethereum?

Overall, proof-of-stake, as it is implemented on Ethereum, has been demonstrated to be more economically secure than proof-of-work. While it certainly hasn’t been immune to volatility, it’s also fared better than many of its competitors. Its price is currently down by around 65% from its peak in late 2021, while Cardano has fallen by a staggering 87% in that time, and Solana has plummeted by around 91%.

Many hope it can both rehabilitate the reputation of crypto for skeptics and improve the efficiency of Ethereum’s enormous ecosystem of businesses and developers. Google even created a countdown clock featuring white and black bears, a nod to a meme about the event. No one knows exactly what the cryptocurrency platform’s big https://www.xcritical.in/blog/ethereum-proof-of-stake-model-what-is-and-how-it-works/ upgrade has in store for the industry. Sign up for free online courses covering the most important core topics in the crypto universe and earn your on-chain certificate — demonstrating your new knowledge of major Web3 topics. Generally speaking, consensus is a process used to reach an agreement among a group of people.

In these cases, all clients must implement some rules identically to make sure they all pick the correct sequence of blocks. The node, known as a miner, runs an algorithm that aims to compute a value faster than any other node. To change the history of the chain or dominate the block https://www.xcritical.in/ proposal, a miner would have to have so much computing power that they always win the race. This is prohibitively expensive and difficult to execute, protecting the chain from attacks. The energy required to «mine» using proof-of-work is a real-world asset that miners pay for.

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