ConsenSys has announced the timeline for the Ethereum merge. This way, Ethereum 1 and Ethereum 2 blockchains become one with each other. Currently, the Beacon Chain or Eth2 POS chain exists on a separate network. However, they will likely see a merger with the main Ethereum mainnet. This should happen by the end of the year probably, or if not, by early 2022. It was revealed in a blog post titled “Charting The Path To Proof of Stake Ethereum” by James Beck on June 03.
Ethereum Merge Details
The blog post mentions the benefits of the Proof of Stake (POS) consensus algorithm over the Proof of Work (POW). POS will blanket the mainnet after the Ethereum merge. It will offer benefits in power consumption – reducing the current usage by 99.9%, allowing more people to run validators for increased decentralization of the network and improved security whereas it’s more expensive to attack network plus the attacker can be forked away by the other participants.
The Ethereum merge will require the current Eth1 execution clients like Geth, OpenEthereum, Hyperledger Besu, and Nethermind to work in conjunction with their Eth2 consensus counterparts or validator clients like Teku, Lighthouse, Nimbus, and Prysm. At this point, the Proof of Work (POW) consensus mechanism will cease to exist.
For testing this merger, the Ethereum developer teams ran the Rayonism project to simulate the conditions after the merge and how different components would co-ordinate with each other. It resulted in Steklo and Nocturne, which tested different variables such as scripts, coordination, finality and the various consensus issues.
The teams are continuing to accelerate the progress towards the final Ethereum merge and the final emergence of the finished Ethereum 2.0 blockchain. Even though the smart contracts platform currently leads in most metrics, it needs to transition rapidly to Eth2, because of the prevalent narratives, especially the energy consumption debate around current Proof of Work (POW) blockchains.
About Ethereum 2.0 And Ethereum Merge
Ethereum merge and the final Ethereum 2.0 implementation are the next big upgrades for the Ethereum network.. It will bring Proof of Stake (POS), eWASM, and sharding. It will reduce the resources, required to run the Ethereum network, as well as bring scalability and performance improvements.
The Eth2 upgrade will start in three phases. The first Phase 0 Beacon Chain launched on Dec 01 ’20 and introduced the staking feature. This comes after Phase 1 in Q1 2021, which will introduce sharding and allow data storage on shards, however, transactions can’t still be processed.
Phase 2 will make the Ethereum 2.0 truly complete and the network operational. This will happen after its introduction at some point in 2022. It will bring the Ethereum WebAssembly (eWASM) replacing the now operational Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Only after the ETH2 chain has been rolled out, proper execution of smart contracts and transactions can commence. The Eth1 and Eth2 chains will gradually merge with each other, known as the Ethereum merge.
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