Right now, the Ethereum mainnet uses a system called Proof of Work to validate transactions. Merging with the Beacon Chain will allow Ethereum to end its PoW consensus system in favor of another system called Proof of Stake. And, after a rough-and-tumble year for the crypto world, Ethereum’s long-awaited software update could inject some much-needed energy into the Web3 space while scoring a significant win for the environment. Supporters of Ethereum can also heave a sigh of relief as the move is expected to reduce the power demand of the network by as much as 99.5 percent.
If the SEC were to crack down on Ethereum, this would set an unwanted precedent for the rest of the cryptocurrency space that uses a proof-of-stake system, and undesirable regulations for decentralized cryptocurrency. We’re going to look at what proof-of-stake is Ethereum Proof of Stake Model all about and what the merge means for ethereum investors. “The worst impact will be on the miners,” she told Euronews Next, explaining that the value of the old version is likely to decrease and the equipment used to mine will not work for the new PoS model.
The chief of them that comes close is Ethereum Classic , which was created in 2016 after the attack on the Ethereum network. In recent weeks, Ethereum Classic’s price has risen due to its mining demand. This change is intended to stop miners and validators from profiteering from the pending transactions on the blockchain, something that has been found to be increasingly happening in the past few years. The choice for who validates each transaction is then made at random using an algorithm that is weighted based on the amount of stake and the validation experience. After a miner verifies a block, it is added to the chain, and the miner receives a fee in cryptocurrency.
Do Investors Need to Do Anything With Their Tokens?
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. It would be hard to overstate how much industry excitement there has been around this shift. 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. But the fact that the Ethereum blockchain consumes a lot less electricity is incredible news already.
2022 is the year Ethereum is set to complete its largest protocol change in history. Proof of Work , the environmentally unfriendly consensus mechanism Ethereum uses today will be replaced by the much more eco-friendly, Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. ConsenSys recently hosted a brown bag information session with three team members working closely on the Merge. Watch the session below as they break down the work their progress in 2021 and some 2022 goals. Should you still have room for some risk given these factors, ethereum could be a decent bet.
There are some positive signs that mining will continue to be in demand regardless of the success of Ethereum 2.0. While Ethereum mining may be over, there are ways to continue mining other cryptocurrencies through modification of equipment. Ethereum has a large user and developer base, so this battle will be hard to fight. It is very likely that Ethereum and the other L1s and L2s end up in the future working in an entangled ecosystem. Ethereum 2.0 will force these protocols to change their marketing pitch to focus on other types of qualities where Ethereum still falters. Examples are the high cost of network saturation fees, and especially the one that can best address the everlasting problem of scalability.
What changes will be needed after The Merge?
The Merge retires Ethereum’s proof-of-work system, where crypto miners competed to write transactions to its ledger – and earn rewards for doing so – by solving cryptographic puzzles. Ethereum 2.0, also known as Eth2, is an upgrade https://xcritical.com/ to the Ethereum blockchain. Crypto exchanges also offer a version of this, allowing users to stake small amounts in return for a fixed rewards amount. During the merge, users may not be able to transfer Ethereum-based assets.
The price of Ethereum has dropped since the merge due to fears of possible regulation. For Ethereum, if the PoS version takes off and the price is high, then the PoW version may have a low price, which will force the majority of miners to shut down. If the PoS version takes off and the price is high, then the PoW version may have a low price, which will force the majority of miners to shut down. De Vries says he is working on figuring out how much the switch will save energy. Ethereum’s new system introduces a new set of incentives for the people operating these computers to follow the rules as written, thereby securing the ledger from any unwanted tampering. It’s like Finland has suddenly shut off its power grid, according to one estimate.
The technical miracle behind the merge
Which of these systems races ahead will depend on the value of their coin in the open markets. In the month of September, the parallel Ethereum blockchains, Mainnet , and Consensus Layer are expected to merge such that the blockchain switches from the PoW to the PoS system. The Ethereum Foundation, however, states that the terminologies do not represent the planned roadmap, and Ethereum 2.0 sounds more like a new operating system, which it is not. So, they have requested Ethereum users to refer to the Mainnet as the ‘execution layer’ and the Beacon Chain as the ‘consensus layer’. However, the recommended terminologies haven’t found favor with users who continue to call it Ethereum 2.0.
The cryptocurrency space has been concerned with how SEC regulations could impact the market. If this merger were to lead to SEC regulations, it would shake the entire crypto market. Increased scrutiny and regulations have also been an ongoing fear for crypto enthusiasts. As you can imagine, all of this drama with the SEC could lead to serious issues.
Ethereum Merge: Centralization as a threat
Proof-of-stake requires validators to have an actual stake in the blockchain. So to become a validator on the network, one must put up a decent investment . The PoS protocol selects the users known as “validators” to verify transactions on the blockchain. Legitimate and accurate validations are rewarded with new ether blocks. This means that you need more than a decent graphics processing unit to be a validator on the network now.
The proof-of-stake mechanism allows users of crypto to stake their crypto on the blockchain so that they can create their own validator nodes. The validator stakes their crypto on the network for a set period in order to be allowed to verify transactions. The PoS protocol chooses a validator node to check a block of transactions for accuracy.
- The price of ethereum has dropped more than 35% from its all-time high back in November 2021, and trading volume has lulled.
- Proof of Stake makes participating in the network more attainable for many more users and not just large miners.
- And more broadly enhance its utility as a way to conduct financial transactions, among other uses.
- “ETH’s net issuance is now projected to range between –1.5% to 0.5% based on the last three months of data, compared to –4.5% to –0.5% using Q1 to Q2 numbers,” he wrote on Aug. 19.
- With the Merge now complete, Mainnet has been deleted and all financial transactions only live on Beacon.
- It was no small feat swapping out one way of running a blockchain, known as proof-of-work, for another, called proof-of-stake.
Cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and bitcoin are often criticized for the process of mining to generate new coins. Both currently use a so-called proof-of-work mining model, involving complex math equations that massive numbers of machines race to solve. Ethereum investors are concerned after the head of the SEC, Gary Gensler, indicated that the cryptocurrency could be considered a security now just a day after the merger. Gensler’s comments on the staking rewards were, “From the coin’s perspective, that’s another indication that under the Howey Test, the investing public is anticipating profits based on the efforts of others.” It means its blockchain technology has been upgraded from the intensive energy-consuming model used by its rival Bitcoin.
Registered securities must disclose their management team, provide financial information and share potential risks. The network should theoretically become safer now that it’s now more expensive to validate transactions on the blockchain. If you want to activate validator software, you will have to stake 32 ETH .
“The way I look at this is the plan now is to eliminate mining overall and award these coins to those with the biggest positions,” he said. The price was down about 20% around the morning of September 21 (1,245.65) and has now risen more than 5% per coin since. On December 1, 2020, Ethereum launched a separate proof-of-stake Beacon chain. On September 15, 2022, the original Ethereum Mainnet merged with the Beacon Chain to exist as one chain.
The claim is that the mining of cryptocurrencies through PoW should be banned due to the high electricity consumption it represents. “Whether they raise the amount of ETH required to stake or lower it, or even stay passive, it’s going to be a test for the community and its ethos,” Ibanez underlined. Two significant upgrades must also take place before the merge happens. First is the Bellatrix upgrade, which activates the merge on the Beacon Chain, followed by the Paris upgrade, which removes any dependency on proof-of-work mining. In April, Cooper Kunz, CTO at Calaxy, a Web3 social marketplace, described the merge as “one of the most difficult, novel, and impressive feats of engineering I think the world has ever seen,” in an interview with nft now.
Along with Bitcoin, experts consider ethereum among the safest crypto investments even before the merge might drive areturn to prices closer to the all-time highit set in late 2021. But while the developers of the merge promised many changes—including a sharp decrease in energy consumption and increased security—a short-term price increase was not one of them. Instead it merely laid the groundwork for further infrastructure that could solve its problems in the years to come.
What does the Ethereum Merge mean for investors?
Anyone who hoped that Ethereum would look or run completely differently on Thursday would have been disappointed. Many investors are now worried about the future classification of Ethereum. While the SEC still hasn’t made an official statement on whether they consider Ethereum a security instead of a commodity, it’s very alarming news that could shake the entire crypto space. From all accounts, it appears that the actual merge on September 15 went just fine, despite concerns from various experts. However, many users may have had high expectations that simply haven’t been met yet. Some are saying the merge only laid the infrastructural foundation for future solutions to these issues.
After switching to a proof-of-stake model, the mining machinery won’t be required. Ethereum 2.0 will rely solely on the staking of Ether to validate the transactions and secure the chain. Either they can start mining altcoins with modified mining rigs, or they can sell mining rigs and use the money to buy Ether, becoming validators of the Ethereum blockchain. Proof of Work is one of the main reasons why blockchain technology has a less-than-stellar environmental reputation.
Put simply, the Merge aims to reduce the number of people and computers it takes to add another data block to the ethereum network. The merge itself took around 12 minutes to come into effect, with the success of the event signaled by the network successfully proposing and approving new blocks of transactions under the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. The Ethereum network missed just one block during the transition and, after 12 minutes and 48 seconds, successfully reached finality. Popular cryptocurrency blockchain Ethereum has completed its long-awaited switch to proof-of-stake. That upgrade process, better known as “The Merge”, has been years in the making. According to the Ethereum Foundation, today’s transition reduces Ethereum’s energy consumption by 99.95%.
What is the Beacon Chain?
Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin has indicated that he would support measures to burn the stake of any validators that censor Ethereum’s protocol at the behest of regulatory bodies, but the concern remains. There is also some ideological controversy surrounding the merge’s effects on the decentralized nature of Ethereum. Crucially, though, the hackers were able to keep their funds on their version of the forked chain, which became known as Ethereum Classic. Requiring resource-heavy computing processes to try to mess around with the ledger disincentivizes people from doing so.