Ronnie Atuhaire
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The Ethereum Merge Explained!

The Ethereum Merge Explained!

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Ronnie Atuhaire
Apr 13, 2022

4 min read

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Table of contents

  • The London Hard Fork
  • The Mainnet
  • The Beacon Chain
  • 酪he Merge | Docking.
  • Sharding
  • Miners Vs Validators
  • Timeline
  • ETH Effects
  • Notes & Resources
  • Conclusion

Ethereum is at the heart of the blockchain revolution it has a vast community of developers and projects on top of it and plans to improve it are underway to increase transactions, reduce gas fees etc.

Both Bitcoin and Ethereum participants are required to use powerful and energy-hungry GPUs to solve a complex mathematical problem to produce a block on the network and this is called Mining.

In this article, we shall look at all the key terms in regards to this Ethereum Docking.

The London Hard Fork

It was launched in August 2021. EIP-1559 has changed Ethereums market mechanisms to pay for transaction fees.

The London Hard Fork was a set of five Ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs). EIP-1559, included in the London Hard Fork, aimed to change the speed and incentivisation of Ethereum mining.

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Ethereum Gas fees were indeed a pain for us (especially developers) and this fork helped minimize and optimise these fees but they are still high.

The Mainnet

Mainnet is the primary public Ethereum production blockchain, where actual-value transactions occur on the distributed ledger and is used in contrast with testnet, signet, and regtest networks.

Unlike Mainnet, those other networks are used for testing purposes and some are private networks.

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There is only one public Ethereum Mainnet. Ethereum relies on proof-of-work. In the proof-of-work, miners must complete complicated puzzles to validate financial transactions on the blockchain.

The Beacon Chain

The Beacon Chain was one of the blockchains launched on the Ethereum network with the goal of accelerating the adoption of blockchain technology at the enterprise level.

It went live in December 2020 aiming at increasing scalability and capacity across the network.

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It will introduce proof-of-stake to Ethereum. This is a new way for you to help keep Ethereum secure. Think of it like a public good that will make Ethereum healthier and earn you more ETH in the process.

In practice, it will involve you staking ETH in order to activate validator software. As a validator, you'll process transactions and create new blocks in the chain.

酪he Merge | Docking.

The current Ethereum Mainnet will "merge" with the Beacon chain proof-of-stake system. This will mark the end of proof-of-work for Ethereum and the full transition to proof-of-stake.

image.png

The Merge was originally referred to as The Docking.

Sharding

Sharding is the process of splitting a database horizontally to spread the load it's a common concept in computer science. In an Ethereum context, sharding will reduce network congestion and increase transactions per second by creating new chains, known as shards.

Miners Vs Validators

Staking and becoming a validator is easier than mining (how the network is currently secured). And it's hoped this will help make Ethereum more secure in the long run. The more people that participate in the network, the more decentralized and safe from attack it will become.

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So this merge will see miners become validators in the new Ethereum and no more usage of high intensive CPUs and GPUs hence energy friendly.

Timeline

The Ethereum community is pushing for all efforts to be focused on the switch to proof-of-stake (PoS). The Ethereum PoS chain is currently running and underwent its first hard fork (Codenamed Altair) in October 2021.

We are expecting it to be shipped in this second quarter of the year!

For more info about development, progress go here

ETH Effects

All ETH on the Ethereum network under the current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus engine will be unaffected by the switch to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus engine once The Merge occurs.

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ETH 2.0 will not be a new coin. It's just the underlying consensus mechanism changing.

Notes & Resources

To stay updated or get more information about what I have shared, try these other resources.

Ethereum EIPs
Economic Times Article
Ethereum Merge
Ethereum Beacon Chain
Consensys EIP Article
Eth Merge Website: All FAQs regarding the coming ETH 2.0 upgrade.

There are obviously other Layer 2 Solutions that I have not covered here that can help tackle The Blockchain Trilemma.

Conclusion

Once again, hope you learned something today from my little closet.

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