ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ETHEREUM AND THE MERGE
A lot of you have been hearing about Ethereum 2.0 without necessarily understanding what Ethereum itself is and why there is a need for Eth 2.0 and so, in this article, I will be addressing the reasons why the founder of Ethereum deemed it fit to build Eth 2.0. So, grabs some popcorn and take a sit while we unveil this mystery. But before we proceed, let’s take a look at who the founder of Ethereum is.
So, for most of you who may not know the founder of Ethereum, here he is.
His name is Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian programmer and writer. He has been in the bitcoin community since 2011 as a writer for Bitcoin Magazine. In case you don’t know what bitcoin is, Bitcoin is the first successful cryptocurrency which serves as a payment network that facilitates cross-border transactions. This means you don’t need the services of the bank or even be afraid of external forces that may affect your finance.
So, still, at the bitcoin magazine, Vitalik initiated the thought that this technology should not end and so, there was a need to increase its sustainability but then, bitcoin had little or no means of altering or reproducing its network so, he thought it wise to build another project that will allow for other projects to be built on. That was how the Ethereum journey began. So, what exactly is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a blockchain technology that is programmable using smart contracts (this allows other projects to be built on it). To have a better understanding of smart contracts click here.
The utilization of smart contracts is the biggest difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin. So, while bitcoin serves as a payment network, Ethereum is more like a marketplace that houses all financial services, social networks, games and other apps that respect privacy.
Ethereum has a native token called Ether or Eth which is used as a gas fee or transaction fee on the Ethereum blockchain. This means that for you to make use of the Ethereum blockchain, you must have some eth. Here is a tip of what Ethereum can do includes:
- Opportunity for lending and borrowing services all accessed through an internet connection
- It allows you to send money and other digital assets from one person to another without the need for an intermediary
- It also allows for privacy example, you don’t need to provide all your personal details before you can use any Ethereum app.
- Also, no government body has control over Ethereum and this means nobody can stop you from receiving money.
According to the Ethereum whitepaper, there is no limitation to the things you can do with Ethereum because Ethereum itself is a story still been written and its uses are yet to be uncovered and this gives room for more development and improvement. Click here to learn more about Ethereum
Now, if Ethereum can do all these, why then is there a need for Ethereum 2.0?
There is no doubt that blockchain tech is still in its earliest stage of which Ethereum is part however, due to the high rate of blockchain adoption there have also been some obvious limitations including low scalability, cybersecurity and security flaws which is why Vitalik Buterin felt there is a need to upgrade the Ethereum network from Eth1 to Eth2.
This upgrade aims to improve the entire Ethereum network’s scalability, and security and to achieve this, there s a need to change the Ethereum infrastructure from proof of work (which bitcoin also uses) to a proof of stake consensus mechanism. Among the many reasons why they aim to switch these consensus is that the proof of work requires high computation power which also makes it slow. And so, when this is done the Ethereum network promises to be more efficient, scalable and facilitate more transactions. Click here to learn more about the Consensus Mechanism
So, when is this Eth 2.0 taking place?
The Eth 2.0 journey has already begun however, it is not meant to launch all at once as there is a need for testing and retesting and this is why the launch process has been divided into 3 different phases. Thus,
- The Beacon Chain
- The Merge and
- The Shard Chain.
The beacon chain is the very first phase of the upgrade which has gone live since 2020. And this phase introduces the staking feature to the Ethereum blockchain. This means you can now stake your eth for passive income.
The second phase is called The Merge, which we are currently anticipating. This phase aims to merge both the beacon chain with the Ethereum Mainnet (ie, Eth1).
The final phase is the Shard chain. This phase is meant to upgrade Ethereum’s scalability and capacity which means, it will become easier to process transactions by spreading them into shards. And for this, 64 chains have been proposed to be deployed across the network. So we are anticipating a better Ethereum blockchain after the launch of eth2.
I know what you are thinking right now. Does that mean that Eth 1 would be wiped away?
The response to this, according to Vitalik is No, however, that is the purpose of the merge, which will bring both eth 1 and eth 2 together so that non of them suffers extinction. This is why you have been hearing about the merge because it is the next stage we are currently anticipating. To learn more about The Merge, click here.
Finally, the emergence of Ethereum has brought about growth and transformation of the blockchain technology, giving other projects the opportunity to evolve and be sustained. However, what do you think about this upgrade? it is a necessity or a waste of time?
Do well to share your opinion in the comment session. I also hope you learned something.
About the Author
Igwe Ihuoma Patience is a self-taught creative and industry-specific content writer, and cryptocurrency enthusiast with 2years plus experience and knowledge of the constantly evolving blockchain space.
I am skilled in content creation, copywriting, curating captions, video editing & graphic designing with mobile phones and I teach others how to get started in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space and My goal is to make blockchain learning and updates easy for anyone to understand.