The Ethereum Merge is coming, and many people on Twitter feel that it could be one of the biggest things to happen in crypto. There’s lots of info around it, and it’ll certainly become a big change as Ethereum is set to move from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake.
The Ethereum Merge Explained
Twitter user, @twofivedev released a Twitter thread simply explaining the Ethereum merge, with diagrams and drawings of beavers, making it “explained like you’re five”. The full thread can be found here.
Put simply, the merge will see the Ethereum ecosystem move from PoW (Proof of Work) to PoS (Proof of Stake). PoW is a mechanism currently being used on Ethereum that allows the decentralized network to agree on things like account balances and the order of transactions. It is the underlying algorithm that sets the difficulty and rules for the work miners do. Mining is the “work” itself. It’s the act of adding valid blocks to the chain. This mechanism uses a lot of energy, making Ethereum bad for the environment, which has historically led to a lot of complaints from environmentalists.
PoS, on the other hand, is the consensus mechanism that Ethereum will use after the merge. Proof-of-stake is a type of consensus mechanism used by blockchains to achieve distributed consensus. In proof-of-stake, validators explicitly stake capital in the form of ether into a smart contract on Ethereum.
The new mechanism will be tested before it is completely deployed. This final test was confirmed by Ethereum developers at the end of July. They said that it would be held between August 6th and 12th. Now that that time period is over, they are all but ready to launch this merge. Watcher.guru has reported that the merge is estimated to be completed between September 15th-16th. The merge is only the beginning of their multi-year plan that will lead to the eventual announcement of ETH 2.0.
Explained in Beaver Terms
In the thread, beavers were used to illustrate the differences between Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. The beavers using PoW were exhausted, as all of them had to put energy into finding out how to get across a river with their logs, with only one being rewarded once the problem was figured out. On the other hand, the beavers illustrated in the PoS example were lying down, lazy, with not all of them wasting their energy, only the ones who put their log down.
The Environmental Changes of the Ethereum Merge
Now, with Ethereum moving to PoS, it will be a lot better for the environment. Currently, on the Proof of Stake mechanism, Ethereum’s total energy consumption is around 112 TWh per year. This number is similar to an entire country like the Netherlands, with a population of over 17 million people.
How is the Community Feeling?
Overall, everyone is excited by the concept of the merge and saving energy, too. Some are excited over a potentially massive increase in the price of Ethereum also. But this is of course not guaranteed. Lark Davis, an investor with 1 million Twitter followers said: “The Ethereum merge is a bigger and more important event than the Bitcoin halving.”