Since its launch, Ethereum has clearly drawn a roadmap for future development. In the original vision, Ethereum will need to go through four main stages of development: Frontier, Homestead, Metropolis, and Serenity.
Up to now, the upgrade goals of the first three stages have been basically completed by 2020. The main development work of Ethereum in the past two years has been concentrated on completing the final stage of the upgrade task. In the original vision, the main goal of the Serenity phase upgrade was to switch Ethereum from the current PoW proof-of-work mechanism to a more energy-efficient PoS mechanism.
The name is changed frequently, and the upgrade is delayed again and again
With the gradual development of the on-chain ecology after the launch of Ethereum, many new problems that were not expected before have been continuously discovered. Therefore, the upgrade plan proposed in the early years has also been continuously revised and improved.
In 2017, the concept of Ethereum 2.0 was proposed by the development team. The new Ethereum 2.0 upgrade plan basically includes the main content of the previous Serenity upgrade, and proposes a new solution for sharding for the existing scalability problems. During the current year, the entire 2.0 upgrade package is scheduled to be finalized in 2020.
In the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade plan, the entire upgrade will be divided into 3 separate stages, they are:
Phase 0: Complete the conversion from PoW to PoS;
Phase 1: increase shards;
Phase 2: upgrade the virtual machine and execution environment;
Of course, we have seen that as of today, which is 2022, the Phase 0 phase of the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade plan has not yet been fully implemented.
However, in the past few years when the upgrade plan has been bouncing, the underlying technology of the blockchain has also been continuously developed and improved. Especially with the sudden emergence of Rollup expansion technology, the Ethereum Foundation has revised the upgrade target to better integrate the Rollup technology to complete the expansion of Ethereum.
Finally at the beginning of this year, the Ethereum Foundation revised the entire Ethereum 2.0 upgrade plan and name. In the latest roadmap, the once-Ethereum 2.0 concept was deprecated to prevent users from pitting Ethereum 2.0 against the now-running Ethereum 1.0.
Because in fact, the currently running Ethereum mainnet will not be deprecated after the upgrade, but will be combined with the currently launched Ethereum Beacon Chain. Therefore, after the merger, the Ethereum main chain that has been running well at present will still exist and will be named the “execution layer” of the new version of Ethereum, while the Beacon Chain launched in 2020 will become the “consensus layer” of the new Ethereum. Mainly responsible for the security and consensus work of Ethereum.
In the new version of the roadmap, the entire upgrade process is still divided into three stages, namely:
1. Beacon Chain : The Beacon Chain has now been launched, and the chain will become the core of future Ethereum sharding. The Ethereum pledged by the current user is stored on this beacon chain;
2. The Merge : The Merge stage is the upgrade we are about to face, including the switch from PoW to PoS, and the current merger of the Ethereum main chain and the beacon chain, so this stage is also called The Merge;
3. Shard Chain : At this stage, Ethereum will expand from one chain to the final state of a total of 36 shard chains, and it is expected that transaction performance will be greatly improved with the implementation of shards;
Preparing for The Merge Upgrade
In order to prevent any uncontrollable risks in the official upgrade, the official team will launch multiple testnets for combined testing work. So far, the Ethereum development team has launched two generations of testnets, the Kintsugi testnet and the currently running Kiln testnet.
During the beta phase, the running Kiln testnet has successfully merged multiple devnets. According to the plan, in the next step, Kiln will start to gradually merge the test network of the Ethereum main network, which is the test network such as Ropsten and Rinkeby that we often see in the MetaMask wallet.
If no major problems are found in the next phase of testing, preparations for the mainnet merger are expected to begin immediately.
Regarding the specific stage of the test, the user can visit wen merge? (https://wenmerge.com/) website to track the latest progress of the test. If there are no major failures in the next few merge tests, a final mainnet upgrade could be on the agenda right away.
When is The Merge expected to happen?
First of all, it should be noted that the official still has not given any clear upgrade time. But according to various indications, if all goes well, The Merge will happen around June this year.
For the specific speculation process, please refer to an article translated by BlockBeats before: “Why will Ethereum be merged before June 2022? (https://www.theblockbeats.info/news/29750)
What will be the impact of a successful upgrade of The Merge?
Ethereum Selling Pressure Has Been Significantly Reduced
During the PoW phase before The Merge upgrade, Ethereum needed to issue around 12,000 ETH per day. Since miners consume a lot of energy to participate in PoW mining, most of these additional ETHs are directly sold by miners to pay for the electricity and operating costs generated by maintaining the mining machines.
After Ethereum is converted to PoS, the additional issuance of Ethereum will be reduced to 1,280 ETH per day, which is about 10% of the previous amount. In addition, since the electricity cost of running a validating node is greatly reduced, node operators will no longer need to sell a large amount of additional ETH to maintain operations, and may put some of the newly added ETH back into staking to increase revenue. Therefore, it is expected that the amount of ETH sold by miners in the entire market will be greatly reduced.
Therefore, the additional issuance and selling pressure of ETH after the merger are expected to be greatly reduced, and the effect is approximately equal to the three simultaneous halvings of Bitcoin.
The Token of Stake in the Beacon Chain cannot be unlocked temporarily
With the launch of Beacon Chain for 20 years, a large amount of ETH was pledged to Beacon Chain to earn pledge income. until now,
In total, over 10 million ETH has been staked in the beacon chain. So will this part of ETH be unlocked with the completion of the merger?
According to the information provided by the Ethereum developers in the official blog, this part of ETH is not expected to regain liquidity in the first time the merger occurs.
Since The Merge upgrade is an extremely complex upgrade process, in order to minimize possible surprises during the upgrade process, the development team excluded almost all functional improvements that are not directly related to the merger. That is to say, functional upgrades such as unlocking PoS pledges will be added to the mainnet in the next upgrade after the merger ends and runs stably for a period of time.
Therefore, users who have previously pledged ETH in the Beacon Chain are expected to wait for a period of time to release the pledge, so that this part of ETH can regain liquidity.
A large number of high-end graphics cards withdraw from the mining return market
As the current major graphics card mining public chain, Ethereum, is transformed into a PoS mechanism, it is expected that a large number of graphics cards used for Ethereum mining will re-enter the market. The once-hard-to-find situation is expected to ease considerably. (without forking)
Can it solve the problem of too high gas in Ethereum?
The cost of Ethereum gas is directly determined by market supply and demand. The Merge upgrade does not fundamentally change the supply limit of Ethereum’s computing volume, nor is it expected to significantly affect users’ demand for computing on the Ethereum chain.
In the short term, the level of Ethereum gas may still be determined by the overall popularity of the market and whether there are demand-side fluctuations such as popular projects. If you want to completely improve the problem of high gas cost, you need to wait for Ethereum to make significant improvements on the supply side, which is also the main goal of the next phase of the shard chain upgrade.
Although it is officially expected that the shard chain upgrade will be launched in 2023, considering the overall difficulty of the Ethereum upgrade and the history of frequent ticket hopping in the previous upgrade plan, the topic of the next phase of the shard upgrade, let us wait for Ethereum After the Foundation is fully prepared, let’s discuss it in detail.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/what-must-be-done-before-the-ethereum-merge-happens/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.