Ethereum’s transition from PoW to PoS could take years. It began with the launch Beacon Chain in December 2020, and has experienced many delays along the way.
The merger phase of the crucial transition from proof–of-work (PoW), mining consensus, to proof–of-stake (PoS) is approaching for Ethereum network. During a conference call, Ethereum ( ETH_) developers offered a perpetual merger date.
Core Ethereum developer Tim Beiko (who runs core protocol meetings) suggested September 19 as the tentative merger target date. The core developers didn’t object to the proposed target date.
Later, Ethereum developer superphiz.eth tweeted the roadmap for the merger. He also clarified that the target date proposed should be viewed as a roadmap and not a deadline.
The transition to PoS based Ethereum 2.0 began December 1, 2020 with the launch Beacon Chain. This was the beginning of Phase 0. The launch of Phase 1 was originally scheduled for mid-2021. However, due to incomplete work and the complexity of code auditing, the launch of Beacon Chain was delayed until the first quarter 2022.
In June, the Sepolia testnet Beacon Chain was live. This set the stage for Ethereum network developers to gain valuable technical insight during its Merge dress rehearsal. On July 7, , the Sepolia was merged with Ethereum network.
The Merge’s final trial will take place on the Goerli network. It is scheduled for the second half of August. The official Merge, which is scheduled for the second half September, will become a priority for developers.
Ethereum’s transition from PoS-based network to Ethereum is expected to decrease its energy consumption by 99%. The introduction of sharding (expected in the first quarter of 2023) would make the network highly scalable, and comparable to centralized payment processors.
PoS vs. PoW has been a long-running debate. PoS supporters claim that it is more secure and environment friendly, while PoW advocates, such as Jack Dorsey have claimed that PoS is more centralized and less secure.
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, has been aggressively advocating PoS. He argued that contrary to popular belief, PoS doesn’t include voting on protocol parameters like proof of work (PoW). doesn’t. Buterin explained that nodes can reject invalid blocks in PoS as well as PoW.
Buterin is still fighting for PoS. However, a recent report by HOPR highlighted key vulnerabilities that could prove to be critical post Merge.
This is not an emergency. It does not affect funds at the moment. This WILL be a problem after Merge, as validators will try to disrupt each other in order to steal millions of dollars in MEV.
This report revealed that validators on the network leaked their IP addresses while broadcasting blocks and attestations, which are linked with their public key. However, these validators are known in advance, allowing for targeted attacks (DoS and other) against future validators.
The HOPR team noticed that the audit report had even called the issue “mitigated”, which is false because attackers don’t just attack the Teku node (DoS).