A recent occurrence in the world of cryptocurrency is the switch of Ethereum’s network from proof of work to proof of stake. This merge has been a long time coming with years of planning and hard work going into this technological upgrade. The merger has resulted in several useful changes for how Ethereum works and also how future developments are likely to develop.
Miners Replaced by Validators
One of the major changes is that miners have been replaced by validators. What this means is that the solving of complex problems to produce mined coins is no more, and instead, you place your coins as proof of stake. How this works is that you place at least 32 Ethereum coins on an address on the network where they cannot be bought or sold. The validators work like a random drawing and if your number is pulled you get to write a block the digital ledger.
There is also protection built in and slashing risks helps ensure good behavior. Slashing occurs when other network members purposely slash a percentage of your validator total in response to bad behavior. Slashing requires whistle-blowings by other users and slash-able events such as those that harm the network or for selfish self-enrichment. It’s important to note slashing can be done due to unintentional harmful events. Luckily, there are tools and best practices in place to avoid unintentional bad behavior.
Energy Consumption Was Reduced by 99%
One of the most notable benefits of the Ethereum merger is the reduction in energy use. The reported energy use from crypto mining as a whole has long been an issue of concern for both users and outside observers of cryptocurrency. The Ethereum merge helps solve the energy use issue by adopting proof of stake. When directly compared to the old method of crypto mining (proof of work) proof of stake is far more efficient and uses far less energy. The energy use of proof of stake is comparable to other common computer programs such as web browsers, streaming services, and some games. This is a very important and long-awaited development as the desire to make the Ethereum network more efficient and usable was always there, it just took time to bring all the different elements together to make that happen.
The Stage Is Set For Future Ethereum Roadmap Developments
A final advantage of the Ethereum merger is the stabilization of the platform for future growth. Elimination of mining and reduction of energy costs now allow for time and work to spend on other network improvements, such as improving transaction speed and reducing transfer fees. In addition, this change in how the network functions points to a maturing of the platform, and as a mature platform, it now invites user solutions and community input to further improve Ethereum and make it better.
No matter if you’re a long-time user of Ethereum or new to investing in cryptocurrency entirely it is an exciting time in the Ethereum ecosystem and the broader platform. The merge was the result of a lot of work and effort and was done with the knowledge that the best is yet to come.