Table of Contents
After following the Merge of the Mainnet and the Beacon Chain, the Ethereum blockchain has successfully finished its transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus.
The Merge took place on Sep.15 when the network moved to PoS seamlessly, having hardware-based miners substituted by validators that stake Ether (ETH) to process transactions, add new blocks and manage the network.
What will happen next is the most crucial question in the crypto space. The Merge will follow the extensive roadmap of development milestones that The Ethereum Foundation has traditionally followed.
In this blog, let’s check what will come next after the Merge. But, before we move forward, let’s quickly recall Merge.
What is Merge?
Since its inception, Ethereum has been safeguarded by a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism that demands hardware processing power to solve highly complicated mathematical problems in a fierce competition to find the next block in the blockchain.
Ethereum has officially shifted to a PoS mechanism as of mid-September 2022. To move the Ethereum blockchain off the antiquated proof-of-work (PoW) method, the Ethereum Merge fundamentally involves merging Ethereum’s proof-of-stake (PoS) Beacon Chain with the Ethereum Mainnet. In addition, a new version of Ethereum, called Ethereum 2.0, was created as a result of the shift. As a result, Ethereum’s energy usage will be reduced by 99.95%, enabling the Ethereum ecosystem to grow even further.
What’s next? – In a nutshell
Following the Merge, several auxiliary upgrades will be released. These upgrades rhyme with each other and are called the Surge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge.
- Two elements of the Surge are the Shanghai upgrade, which will permit the withdrawal of staked ETH, and sharding, which aims to boost scalability by spreading out the effort of handling and processing enormous volumes of data over a whole network.
- The Verge is a crucial step towards more decentralization since it will allow users to be network validators without storing much data.
- Purge will be responsible for clearing the old network history, and
- The Splurge will be the refining of the stages that will come prior to it.
What are we waiting for? First, let’s have an overview of each of these updates that can happen in the coming future.
The “Surge” refers to Ethereum introducing mechanisms that will enable the creation of layer 2 or companion products, such as sharding and rollups, and so make it simpler for users to function on the Ethereum network. In addition, these systems will make the network more expandable (scalable).
Sharding should be implemented on Ethereum during this phase. To improve the network’s scalability, sharding would divide Ethereum’s whole network into smaller units known as “shards.” This is accomplished by fragmenting data within a single blockchain, thereby producing numerous mini-blockchains. Once the protocol switches to proof-of-stake, this gets much simpler to accomplish. Ethereum will then try to construct a physically sharded architecture of 64 linked databases.
Sharding is a technique in computer science that expands systems so they can support additional data. For example, each user could store a portion of the modification to the database instead of the entire thing if sharding on Ethereum can be achieved.
Verkle trees, a concept for network scalability, will be introduced in the following phase, referred to as the Verge. Verkle trees are a “strong enhancement to the Merkle proofs that allow reduced proof sizes,” according to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. To achieve the ultimate goal of making Ethereum more scalable, the Verge will essentially optimize storage and reduce node sizes.
The Purge, the next phase of the Ethereum plan, aims to eliminate or “purging” surplus historical data. The amount of historical data on the network will effectively decrease as a result of this procedure, which will also increase the efficiency of the blockchain validation process for validators using the new Proof-of-stake consensus method. Additionally, it would relieve network congestion and speed up transaction processing.
In fact, it is predicted that Ethereum will be able to perform over 100,000 transactions per second following “The Purge.”
This is the last stage of the Ethereum master plan, or the “fun stuff,” as Buterin puts it. The main goals of this phase would be to make sure that all the preceding processes were successful and, if necessary, to remove any problems from the code.
The Purge will already perform the major challenging work to make Ethereum more scalable.
Conclusion: Is Merge fully completed?
Although the Ethereum Merge has been completed, it is essential to remember that there is a larger strategy in place that is still in its early stages. In actuality, Ethereum Merge was just the first phase of that plan; there are still many other things to come. The upcoming forks – the Surge, the Verge, the Purge, and the Splurge – will keep improving the scalability and security of Ethereum’s proof-of-stake network.Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.