Thursday, December 1, 2022

Ethereum’s Current Proof Of Work Enters “Final Chapter” As Groundbreaking ‘Merge’ Is Postponed

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The Merge marks the culmination of a long journey for the Ethereum community. As excitement continues to mount around the so-called Merge, Ethereum Foundation developer Tim Beiko has hinted that enthusiasts will have to wait a few months longer.

Ethereum Merge Not Taking Place In June

For those new to the Ethereum world, the Merge is the long-awaited switch from the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake (PoS). The Merge is viewed as a massive development for Ethereum that will significantly improve the network’s environmental impact as well as make it faster and cheaper to transact. This is because the next phase of ethereum will let the second-largest blockchain’s security rely on staked tokens instead of the supposedly power-hungry mining equipment.

The merge between the mainnet and the Beacon Chain proof-of-stake system was slated for the second quarter of this year. But Tim Beiko revealed that it has been pushed to Q3/2022. “It won’t be June, but likely in the few months after,” the core ETH developer said in a Tuesday tweet.

Beiko went on to affirm that Ethereum’s present computation-intensive PoW is in its “final chapter”. “I would _strongly_ suggest not investing more in mining equipment at this point,” he said in response to a miner going by the online alias TripleSack, as ETH mining will soon become obsolete.

For long-time Ether supporters, Beiko’s announcement that the Merge will be pushed further comes as no surprise. Plans for a multi-stage shift to PoS have been in the works from as early as 2016. At the time, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin memorably asserted that the transition was coming very soon. While Ethereum core developers have not given an exact release date for the Merge, all estimated deadlines have been shelved again and again thanks in part to the magnitude and complication of the update.

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Some Ethereum Miners Not Quite Ready For The Merge To PoS

Beiko’s update comes after Ethereum successfully implemented its first mainnet “shadow fork” on April 11. The testnet created an environment for developers to better test their assumptions around the network’s complex transition to PoS.

It’s a huge milestone for Ethereum. However, not everyone is convinced developers will be able to shift the mainnet from a PoW to a PoS model in the latter half of 2022. A spokesperson from Flexpool, the world’s sixth-biggest ether mining pool, indicated that they don’t believe the Merge will happen until next year.

Flexpool also stated it intends to “actively devote our developers to the merge testnets once they become public and do our best to identify bugs so that the merge is delayed further”. The pool has invested a lot towards Ethereum mining. It’s no wonder they want the Ethereum network to continue using the proof-of-work model for as long as it is possible.

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