Exciting news! The Ethereum Foundation has announced that the network’s highly anticipated ETH 2.0 “Merge” successfully took place on March 15 on their Kiln testnet. This is an important final public testing before Ethereum’s transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS)-based consensus later this year, and it means everything went smoothly with no unforeseen issues or complications.
Kiln, the next iteration of Ethereum merge testnets, is now live 🔥🧱
Highly recommended that node operators, application developers, stakers, tooling/infra providers test their setups on the network. Blog post has all the info to get started 😁https://t.co/TCHBZxcFlt
— Tim Beiko | timbeiko.eth 🔥🧱 (@TimBeiko) March 14, 2022
The successful completion of this final public test marks a major turning point for Ethereum as the network prepares to go through with some of its biggest changes since its inception.
The Switch to Proof-of-Stake
Ethereum’s move to PoS is expected to prompt a dramatic reduction in Ether (ETH) issuance. Currently, over 97% of all ETH issuance comes from mining rewards. With Proof-of-Stake, this will be reduced to just 3%. This will help to reduce the inflation rate and make ETH a more scarce and valuable asset. Additionally, it will help to reduce the energy consumption of the Ethereum network by more than 99% as most PoS algorithms are much more energy efficient than mining algorithms.
Earlier this week, @Litocoen of Hop Protocol tweeted that the Beacon chain/Kiln testnet merge will result in a 90% reduction in daily ETH emissions to 12,000 Ether from 1,280 Ether. The tweet also described the “Merge” as “the equivalent of three halvenings at once.”
Yearly inflation will go down from 4.3% to 0.43% the equivalent of three halvenings *at once*
Meanwhile rewards for PoS validators will go up from 4.5% to 10-15% in the months after The Merge
— lito (@litocoen) March 14, 2022
The ETH 2.0 PoS upgrade promises to be a major turning point for Ethereum, bringing significant improvements to the network’s scalability, security, and overall efficiency. With the details of the upgrade still being finalized, it is clear that the shift will have a major impact on the Ethereum ecosystem and the way that users interact with the network.
While the actual dates of the move to PoS consensus haven’t been announced, @Superphiz, an Ethereum researcher, noted in a Reddit post on March 11 that “the merge is on track and will be deployed in June 2022.”
However, after citing comments from devs relating to “the difficulty bomb and hard fork expected in June, the importance of items already completed on The Merge Mainnet Readiness Checklist, and Kiln’s progress as informing his forecast,” he added “I’d rather steadfastly predict June and be wrong, than lower the community expectation and by right. Let’s keep pushing for June.”
Ethereum’s move to Proof-of-Stake is a major step forward in its development – and could pave the way for even more exciting changes in the future.
ETH was last changing hands above $2,674, up about 5% on the day.