The most monumental update in blockchain history since the Bitcoin genesis block is upon us: at TTD 58750000000000000000000, Ethereum is switching to Proof-of-Stake. With it comes a 99.5% energy use reduction, finalization of the dynamic supply mechanism introduced by EIP-1559, as well as setting the stage for future updates, including sharding.
This migration to Proof-of-Stake is nothing short of groundbreaking. Nearly a decade of decentralized coordination and work from researchers, developers, community stewards, and operators is culminating in a near-seamless swap of consensus mechanisms on the largest smart contract platform in history.
The sun is setting on the era of Bitcoin dominance. While this is a net positive for the industry, it’s also important to acknowledge the contributions, especially in the early days that Bitcoin (and, by extension, early Bitcoin pioneers) trailblazed. Without them, Ethereum would not exist. Many current Ethereum researchers (myself included) had their first foray into crypto through Bitcoin. It served as an important ideological proving ground and catalyst for much of the research implemented into blockchain systems today. Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake upgrade will be marked as the shift towards a more efficient and sustainable blockchain future.
Ethereum development is far from over. Next comes Sharding, Verkle tries (KZG polynomial commitments), statelessness, light clients, and more, which will be explored in future Mirror articles. Let’s use this milestone as a time to reflect, see how far we’ve come, and turn our eyes to the future.
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