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Ethereum’s creators seem to be driving the move of the network to Proof-of-Stake consensus and away from the Proof-of-Work mining culture.
On March 11, developer “Mikhail Kalinin” published specifications for Eth2’s future blockchain merge with the existing Ethereum network. The documentation notes the consensus upgrade from PoS to PoW will be the core change enacted.
0. With NFTs and Eth’s move to Proof of Stake in the news, I often see comments like:
“Eth has been promising to move to PoS for years, but…” or “Eth2, still under development, may launch in a year or two….”
But how many people realize that Eth2’s PoS is already… live?
— Josh Stark (@0xstark) March 11, 2021
The publishing of the specs comes as conflicts between the miners and the developers of Ethereum escalate. Miners are likely to lose considerable money as a result of the move to proof-of-stake, while Ethereum’s developers are keen to improve Ethereum’s persistently high fees and congestion.
Cointelegraph announced last week that the main developers of Ethereum had intended to adopt the Ethereum Enhancement Proposal-1559 in July, which would replace the current Ethereuem fee market with a flat price and burn method.
Although the proposal is supposed to discipline Ethereum’s rising fees, 1559 could decrease mining revenues by as much as 50%. As such, some miners reacted to the news by organising a “show of force,” urging Ethereum miners to divert their hatching power to the Ethermine Mining Pool of 1559 for 51 hours on April 1.
The main developers seem, however, to have been preparing for the miner-backlash. Last month, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin said on Chinese social media (reposted by Wu Blockchain) that if miners risk a 51% strike, “we’ll all switch to PoS as soon as possible.”
Developers have combined the EIP-1559 with a delay in the July London redesign of the Complexity Bomb in order to make the hard fork less probable. And as Redditor Always Question pointed out in a Reddit article suggesting that the Merge should be prioritised: “Having the Merge ready offers a fallback for the group should a mining cartel collide to neutralise the positive impact of EIP 1559.”
Earlier this week, Buterin announced that the creators of Eth2 have prioritised the merge of the chain over the implementation of sharding, with his remarks on Chinese social media showing that focusing on merging could be inspired by a willingness to reduce the possible impacts of opposition from miners.
Ethereum miner rebellion will likely force #ethereum 2.0 to happen even sooner than expected. This is a good thing.
— Lark Davis (@TheCryptoLark) March 11, 2021
Buterin also noted that second-layer scaling strategies will be introduced in the coming months. Predicting that Optimism’s roll-ups would encourage an improvement in transactional throughput by a factor of 100, Buterin argued that two-layer implementations would scale Ethereum to a sufficient degree before sharding was carried out.