Ethereum (ETH) is one of the most important and influential cryptocurrencies in the world, as its blockchain is known for its flexibility and ability to support complex decentralized applications (dApps). Since its inception, it has gone through several significant updates such as The Merge, and will also go through others such as The Surge, The Verge, The Purge, and The Splurge.
These upcoming updates are seen as key to the growth and evolution of the entire Ethereum ecosystem, allowing it to adapt to changes in the market and the needs of its users.
In this article, we will explore the network updates and discuss their importance for the ETH cryptocurrency and the market as a whole.
The Merge is the most important and complex update to the Ethereum blockchain as it transitioned the network’s consensus mechanisms.
Proof of Work (PoW) is the consensus mechanism used by the Bitcoin (BTC) network, where working machines are needed to solve mathematical equations, thus proving their work and recording transactions on the blockchain.
Until September 2022, Ethereum used PoW, however, with the implementation of The Merge, it began to use Proof of Stake (PoS), which, in short, replaces the work of machines with Ether cryptocurrency (ETH). So instead of using the machines work as proof, he uses ETH in staking.
This change allowed for a significant reduction in the energy needed to keep Ethereum running, making it more sustainable and affordable.
Unlike Merge, Surge will take place in several stages and its main objective is to allow the Ethereum blockchain to process up to 100,000 transactions per second.
This will only be possible thanks to the implementation of Sharding, which is a scalability technique proposed for the network, which aims to significantly increase its transaction processing capacity. The goal of Sharding is to divide the network into shards (smaller fragments), each of which will be able to process transactions independently. This reduces the workload on each shard, allowing the network to process a much larger number of transactions in parallel.
In Ethereum, Sharding will be implemented through the creation of validation groups, which are sets of nodes that process transactions in a given shard. Each group is responsible for validating transactions on its shard and sending updates to other shards in the network. This allows the network to maintain consensus on the overall state of the blockchain even with multiple shards processing transactions simultaneously.
Sharding is seen as an important solution to the scalability problem in Ethereum and is under active development by the Ethereum Foundation team.
Verge, in turn, aims to reduce the amount of information validators need to store on their machines. Such a change will be made possible through a concept called Verkle Trees . This update had already been proposed by Vitalik, founder of Ethereum, in 2017.
Despite being complex, this implementation represents a great advantage when it comes to scalability. In practice, it will allow users to become validators without the need to store a lot of data on their machines. This will be feasible thanks to the algorithm that will allow users to compute a cryptographic proof for a small subset of data in a Verkle tree instead of having to compute a proof for the entire dataset.
Purge’s proposal is to clean up the blockchain, removing old data and simplifying it from then on. When this update is implemented, validator nodes will use a different mechanism to synchronize, or in other words, keep all data the same across all nodes.
This synchronization will act as a save point, where nodes will be able to synchronize from that point forward instead of having to do it with the entire blockchain. But still, anyone who wants to will have access to all the data on the Ethereum blockchain, from its first block.
With the implementation of Purge, the possibility of network congestion should be significantly reduced.
This update is probably the simplest of all. It is a combination of several smaller updates and is intended to ensure that the network functions in a positive manner following the implementations of the previous four updates.
One of the most important elements in Splurge is the idea of improving the user experience when interacting with the Ethereum blockchain. Also, facilitating the user experience is an essential fact when thinking about the adoption of blockchain technology.
The updates that the network had previously were fundamental for its growth and for the evolution of the ETH cryptocurrency. They have improved Ethereum’s efficiency, scalability, security and privacy, making its currency one of the most popular and successful in the world.
Ethereum continues to evolve and its future updates should continue to drive dApp development and ETH adoption. With its unique combination of flexibility, security and advanced technology, the network is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the crypto ecosystem.