The merge is one of the trending headlines you would see in the crypto world today. It is an upcoming event that is set to take the Ethereum network to the next level.
Vitalik Buterin and several other ETH enthusiasts have mentioned ”The Merge” as a phase to help boast the Ethereum network to its phase tagged ”Ethereum 2.0”.
The Ethereum network weeks ago completed its Goerli Testnet merge. The next phase will move the ETH network from the proof-of-work [PoW] consensus mechanism [also used by Bitcoin] to the proof-of-stake [PoS] consensus mechanism.
In this post, we’ll analyze what ”The Merge” is all about and its application on the Ethereum network. We’ll also get to know more about the proof-of-stake system used by the Ethereum network.
What is The Merge?
The word merge means to combine or cause to combine to form a single entity. In this regard, the merge is a slang used in the crypto world to describe the transition of Ethereum from a proof-of-work consensus algorithm to one that uses proof-of-stake.
The merge is to help take care of the energy-intensive PoW that has been a concern for bitcoin miners. The process is designed to secure the network using staked ETH.
The Merge is the first stage of five from the Ethereum protocol’s incoming development. The other stages include ”The Surge”, ”The Verge”, ”The Purge”, and ”The Splurge”.
How Does The Merge Work?
The Beacon Chain which is about to become the new consensus layer of the ETH network has existed on it before this time. As the cornerstone of Ethereum 2.0’s architecture, it exists separately on the blockchain from Ethereum’s network, and it runs in parallel.
The Beacon Chain has been reaching consensus on its own without being involved in transactions on the mainnet.
The Merge is the moment where the mainnet [uses PoW] and the beacon chain [PoS] will come together. This will see the PoW consensus algorithm replaced by proof-of-stake permanently. It will eventually cut electricity usage by 99.95% and make validations much faster.
Implications of The Merge on the Ethereum Network
Here are the implications of the upcoming merge on the Ethereum protocol.
1.No history will be lost
The Ethereum foundation has made it known that no record of the transaction on the network is lost during the merge process.
2. Digital assets & funds are safe
Holders of digital assets on this network have their funds and assets safe as the mainnet and beacon chain come together effortlessly.
3. No more mining of ETH
The proof-of-work consensus mechanism allows users to mine Ethereum via the mainnet. With the merge, this will no longer be possible as the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism will be used. Validators will assume this role and will be responsible for processing the validity of all transactions and proposing blocks.
Common Mixups About the Merge of Ethereum
There have been many talks about the Ethereum Merge which has led to several false statements. The common misconceptions are discussed below.
1. Gas Fees Will Drop After The Merge
It has been confirmed that the upcoming event will change the overall consensus algorithm and will not expand the network capacity. For this reason, it won’t result in lower gas fees.
2. Increase in Transaction Speed
There will be only some slight changes as the mainnet network will likely be nothing different from how it used to be.
3. The Merge Will Have Effect on Network Downtime
This is not to be as the process is designed in a way where there will be no network downtime. The network should not be altered while going through the process.
4. It Makes More Than Two Nodes to Run a Node
There are only two types of nodes on the Ethereum network. There is one that can propose blocks and one that can’t. Those that are not required to commit ETH do not propose blocks but they are also important to the network’s security.
What You Need to Know About Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Consensus Mechanism
Proof-of-stake (PoS) is a cryptocurrency consensus mechanism for processing transactions and creating new blocks in a blockchain.
Here, validators stake their coins rather than mining as it is with a proof-of-work consensus mechanism. This gives the validators the right to check new blocks of transactions and add them to the blockchain.
In this case, ETH owners are allowed to stake coins and create their validator nodes. The proof-of-stake mechanism will assign a validator node the block once a transaction is processed.
The validator checks if the transactions in the block are accurate. Users are rewarded if found accurate while inaccurate information means validators will lose their staked coins.
The Merge that is set to take place where therefore makes this a standard system on the Ethereum network.
The Merge is one of the historic events to date in the crypto industry. It is the switching of Ethereum’s system from the PoW’s mainnet to the PoS beacon chain system. Crypto enthusiasts especially the members of Ethereum are already counting down on this remarkable event to mark a monumental change in the industry.