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Ethereum’s Merge (move to PoS) No Longer Expected in June

CoinDesk | Sam Kessler | Apr 13, 2022

Ethereums The Merge delayed - Ethereum's Merge (move to PoS) No Longer Expected in JuneAccording to Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko, the shift to proof-of-stake might not come until the fall.

The Merge signifies Ethereum’s shift to a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism for securing itself. Today, the network relies on a proof-of-work (PoW) system, whereby a decentralized network of computers competes to validate transactions.  Ethereum’s move to a PoS mechanism, where users reserve the ability to secure the network by “staking” ether, is expected to cut Ethereum energy costs by 99% and make it easier for the network to scale.

The update from Beiko comes after Ethereum passed a major milestone on Monday with the first successful shadow fork of the Ethereum mainnet – amounting to a dry run of the network’s upcoming shift in consensus mechanisms.  However, according to a tweet last weekend from Ethereum DevOps engineer Parathi Jayanathi, three recent shadow forks of Ethereum's Goerli testnet revealed bugs that still need to be worked out before the update will be ready.

Shifting Focus to Layer 2

Even after the Merge, Ethereum's high gas fees and relatively slow speeds – which have made the network unusable for many applications – are likely to remain.

See:  Single largest Ethereum contract worth $33.5 billion ‘trapped’

Ethereum is at the center of decentralized finance (DeFi), GameFi, and NFTs, but a large number of newer PoS chains are nipping at Ethereum’s heels by offering users faster and cheaper transactions.

The Merge has supplanted Ethereum’s original plans for “Ethereum 2.0,” which included the addition of sharding to improve network throughput by chopping up activity into pieces that can be processed simultaneously. Sharding is still on the Ethereum roadmap, but it was pushed back to 2023 in order to expedite the shift to PoS.

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