The Ethereum Merge is the latest development in the Ethereum field. The “Merge” marks the transition of the network from a proof-of-work (PoW) system to a proof-of-stake (PoS) system. The transition is a technologically advanced process and developers are calling the new network Ethereum 2.0. It is a lot like the upgrade from Web1 to Web2. Although most of the blockchain industry makes use of the PoW mechanism, the Ethereum Merge is inevitable.
Before moving on to the nuances of the transition, here’s a little about PoW and PoS consensus mechanisms.
PoW v PoS
The PoW mechanism is a decentralized mechanism that requires its members to resolve arbitrary mathematical puzzles so that they cannot game the system. It requires the expenditure of a lot of energy. PoS is a consensus mechanism for blockchain networks that calls for validators to stake their own cryptocurrency assets in exchange for the right to approve brand-new transactions on the blockchain.
PoS basically lowers the amount of computational effort needed to include new blocks in the blockchain.
About the Merge
Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, presented his ideas for future advancements at the Ethereum Community Conference in France that go beyond the switch to PoS for the network. In fact, the proof-of-stake beacon chain and the Ethereum main net will be combined in the merge. It is only the first of several upcoming updates. He informed the audience that Ethereum would see additional upgrades that he refers to as the “surge,” “verge,” “purge,” and “splurge.”