7 Ethereum developers would like to sell you on the Merge
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A burning question that has plagued the community since Ethereum’s inception in 2015 was answered at exactly 06:42:59 UTC on Thursday, September 15, 2022.
Ethereum, the technological layer on which a new class of applications and self-organizing organizations are built, moved away from its reliance on an energy-intensive consensus mechanism called proof-of-work (PoW) to a more durable and secure consensus mechanism called proof. as stake (PoS).
In what has been described as one of the most significant milestones in blockchain history, Merge has set the model for how Ethereum will continue to be the most powerful, most used, most trusted neutral and most energy efficient blockchain network worldwide.
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The Merge is one of those historic moments that decades from now people will remember what they did, where and with whom, whether they were part of the 41,000+ people who tuned in when the blocks were completed or all the physical gatherings worldwide. to celebrate the occasion where Ethereum also moved slightly from random Ethereum block times to predictable 12 second intervals.
More than 120 developers from around the world, united only by a Wi-Fi signal and a passion for building what they believe to be the future of the Internet, have come together to design and execute the Ethereum Merge. Their collective action, most likely to deliver the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the industry in history, provides a compelling model for future industry and social reform to embrace.
Diversity and transparency in the blockchain
One ethos that prevails in the Ethereum ecosystem is its diversity and openness. As a result of the association, Ethereum has laid the foundation for a successful transition from a monolithic blockchain to a more modular blockchain that includes multiple execution-level clients, consensus-layer clients, and layer 2 networks. This robust architecture ensures a healthy and scalable network where the rewards of participation are distributed more evenly.
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Not only does PoS democratize participation in the network by requiring lower resource requirements from validating nodes, but it is also built in such a way that economies of scale do not apply in the same way as PoW mining. Although players still have more nodes, using one is less computationally intensive, and each node has an equal chance of receiving rewards.
In addition to a very versatile system, technical barriers to scalability are removed. Unlike PoW, PoS allows Ethereum to effectively partition computing and achieve the scale and performance developers expect from a database or cloud service. This makes Ethereum more egalitarian and has evolved radically to support the next generation of Web3 creators and developers.
Ethereum is the first time in history that a technology of its scale has reduced its emissions through innovation and redesign, not carbon offsets.
Ethereum has previously sacrificed durability and scalability for its chosen security mechanism. This compromise was at odds with the adoption levels the chain was seeing. However, with the move to PoS, Ethereum has become the most popular carbon-friendly blockchain, reducing its network’s electricity consumption and carbon footprint by over 99.988% and 99.992%, respectively.
With a more sustainable Ethereum, artists no longer have to make ethical decisions about the energy use of PoW systems, or even replace nonfungible tokens (NFTs) with carbon credits. Ethereum is now the most sustainable home for the NFT revolution.
An improved security model for protecting blockchains
One overlooked feature of the security behind Proof of Stake is that 51% attacks are exponentially more expensive for anyone attempting them than in PoW. For example, if someone has the means to perform a 51% attack on a PoW network, these attacks can continue even after the soft fork.
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But in Ethereum PoW, something called a “cut” is stamped into the code. In cutting, when a Validator is caught acting in a demonstrably destructive manner, the validator is forced to exit, penalizing some or all of their financial contribution. As a result, an attacker cannot attack the chain without significant financial loss. PoW does not have an equally impressive intra-protocol financial barrier.
Today, the feeling of powerlessness has increased more than ever. People feel disconnected and powerless when it comes to the decisions that guide their lives. Time after time, the responsible actors have failed; trust has been broken and there seems to be no way forward.
Ethereum promises to reverse the dynamics of power and empower the individual to allow any individual, company or government to run validators, build applications without trust or self-coordinate; it enables a sense of ownership, trust and confidence that is more difficult to achieve in the systems that are widely used in society today.
The merger strongly demonstrates that Ethereum is intended for everyone to sustainably create value without compromising security, energy efficiency and democratized access.
We hope that this example of the collaboration of hundreds of developers from around the world, often working voluntarily to improve the public good, could inspire other industries.
Ben Edgington advises on Eth2 at ConsenSys. The current product owner of Tekku, an Ethereum 2.0 client primarily intended for businesses and institutions, Ben served as Director of Information Systems Engineering at Hitachi Europe before joining ConsenSys. He holds a BA (Hons), MA, M.Sc. and M.Maths (all in mathematics) from the University of Cambridge.
Hsiao-Wei Wang has been working on research and development of the Ethereum consensus protocol in the research group of the Ethereum Foundation since mid-2017. His contributions to Merge include consensus research, specifications, and meme development.
Dapplion the lion has been involved in Ethereum since the beginning of 2018, building FOSS into the infrastructure layer using DAppNode. His contributions to Merge have led Lodestar the Typescript consensus client and driven light clients to the consensus level as well as other standardization initiatives.
Marius van der Wijden is a software developer who has been working with the Ethereum Foundation on go-Ethereum since 2020. Before that, he worked on blockchain scalability solutions (state channels). He wrote parts of the implementation of Merge in go-Ethereum and participated in the coordination of testing activities. He also tried to get the community involved in the #TestingTheMerge initiative.
Mikhail Kalinin has been working full-time on Ethereum since 2015, initially as a core developer on an early web client and for the past three years in Ethereum R&D. He leads ConsenSys’ TXRX research group. Developing and delivering Merge on the Ethereum mainnet has been his main focus for the past two years. He is currently looking for a new area of Ethereum protocol development where he can make a difference.
Parithosh Jayanth is from Bangalore, India and moved to Germany in 2016. He joined the Ethereum Foundation in 2020 with the goal of shaping Ethereum’s updates because he was interested in its research challenges. He was responsible for setting up, coordinating and debugging test networks.
Terence Tsao Prysmatic Labs runs on Prysm, a client implementation of the consensus layer written in Go. He was one of the early implementers of Merge, which began experimenting with the consensus layer code and the execution engine API so that it could implement consensus on the execution layer client.
This article is for general informational purposes and is not intended and should not be construed as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.