Ethereum's switch to Proof of Stake is nearly here
I really wanted to do an issue of "What is Decentralized Finance (DeFi)?" but I've had a crazy day and just don't have the mental capacity to do it. So today, I wanted to talk a little bit about the Ethereum upgrade that should be hitting this year. If you're not familiar, Ethereum was the first blockchain to have smart contract functionality and really helped shape the world of cryptocurrency as we know it.
It feels funny to talk about crypto like everyone already knows what it is, and we're very early still. I think less than 1% of the world's population is actively using crypto at this point, but don't quote me on that. I feel like that is pretty accurate but I have no idea honestly. Anyway - Ethereum is a proof of work blockchain in its current form.
The next major upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain which is going to switch the chain from proof of work to proof of stake is so close... So close we can even test it on the live proof of stake test networks. I played around with some transactions on the Kintsugi testnet when it was released, and it was quite an experience.
The switch from proof of work consensus to proof of stake consensus is going to do incredible things for the Ethereum blockchain.
Yesterday, Nethermind tweeted that the Sepolia beacon chain went live. Nethermind is one of the largest Ethereum developers there is, and this is a huge announcement coming from them. What this means is that developers are able to simulate the merge of the main Ethereum network which uses proof of work for consensus with the beacon chain.
There's already been many successful shadow forks of the post-merge chain so the next step is testing what happens when they disable proof of work. Switching the way the Ethereum blockchain verifies transactions without breaking it is surely no easy task, so the more testing that goes into this, the better.
Being able to simulate what will happen when the chains merge is crucial for making sure the real deal is able to be done smoothly. Devs obviously won't be able to simulate everything exactly as it is now, but they can get pretty close. When you're building the future of decentralized services, you can't really guess at these things.
This upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain is going to make it thousands of times more scalable and 99.9% more energy efficient. Remember all these people talking about how NFTs were killing the environment because they were on Ethereum? No more! Even though that's a hilariously stupid statement... lol
Hopefully it will keep gas fees lower and more consistent. Who knows what the upgrade is going to do to layer 2 solutions like Polygon when there's no more need for scaling solutions. Maybe there will still be a need for them, maybe there won't. They'll most likely live on and become more of their own platforms.
I'm not saying Polygon or Arbitrum are going to just die. I'm just thinking about life after the merge. It's definitely going to be a turning point in crypto. A crazy moment in history. Something our grandkids will talk about.
The merge has been talked about for a long time. This is the only time I feel like it's actually about to happen.
Post written by: @l337m45732 AKA NiftyPhill
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