Common questions about Ethereum PoS mergers, let’s answer them one by one


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Regarding the Ethereum PoS merger, the answers you want to know are all here.

Finishing: Wang Yankun

What is “merger”?

The “merger” is a network upgrade of Ethereum, which aims to transform a practical consensus protocol from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism that saves energy, is more capital efficient, and is more secure. When the merger occurs, the current PoW consensus mechanism will be completely abandoned, and then all blocks on Ethereum will be generated through the PoS consensus mechanism.

Answer main: Lamboshi

When will “merger” happen?

Simple answer: The most optimistic (unofficial view) at present is estimated to be at some point in the first quarter of 2022.

Detailed answer: As of the time the respondent writes this article, there is no exact timetable for the “merger”.

The Eth 1.0 Proof of Labor (PoW) blockchain will undergo two hard forks in 2021, named Berlin and London upgrades. After that, the Ethereum community will fully promote the transformation to the Eth 2.0 Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain.

The Eth 2.0 PoS chain is currently in operation, and before the “merger”, this PoS chain will undergo its first hard fork (code-named Altair) in June 2021.

April 16, 2021 to May 14 will host the day ETHGlobal Ethernet virtual expansion hackathon Square Ethereum virtual scaling Hackaton. The Eth1-Eth2 merger is one of the topics that players can invest in during the hackathon.

According to the results of the prototype built during the ETHGlobal Hackathon and the initial results of the first Eth 2.0 PoS hard fork (June 2021), it will be decided whether the focus of the Eth 1.0 PoW “Shanghai” hard fork will focus on the Eth 1.0 Ethereum improvement proposal ( EIP) , or “merge” as the top priority. The Shanghai hard fork is currently expected to take place in the first quarter of 2022.

Answer main: /u/Chapo_Rouge , @InsideTheSim

If I hold Ether (ETH), what do I need to do?

No need to do anything! Once “merged”, all ETH in the Eth 1.0 PoW chain will automatically become ETH on the Eth 2.0 PoS chain. There will be no change in the user’s daily experience of using Ethereum-all changes related to the “merger” will “occur quietly”, but are related to the consensus mechanism to ensure the security of the Ethereum network.

Answer the main: @insideTheSim

After the “merger”, can I continue to stay on the “Ethereum 1.0” chain?

No-because the features of 1.0 will no longer exist. After the “merger”, the entire Ethereum 1.0 PoW blockchain will become the state of Ethereum 2.0 PoS.

If any node continues to mine on the Ethereum 1.0 PoW blockchain, the economic return of the block will be much lower than its operating cost. Since it is operated by incentivizing miners for profit, it is expected that Eth 1.0 PoW participants will immediately start using their hardware to mine on other non-Ethereum PoW blockchains.

Answer main: @InsideTheSimulation

Why did Ethereum transform into a PoS consensus mechanism?

The current state of Ethereum is using PoW to ensure consensus among thousands of nodes in the network. Although PoW is reliable and safe, it consumes extremely high energy. In order to produce a block on the network, miners need to use powerful and energy-intensive GPUs to solve complex mathematical problems.

PoS ensures network security in another way. In the PoS mechanism, any user who holds 32 ETH can become a validator, that is, a node that participates in the network consensus algorithm. Completing a block requires 2/3 of all active validators to sign it. If malicious actors try to restore the determined block by using a large number of validators (equivalent to a 51% attack in PoW), then their funds will be fined-which means that they will lose part of their pledged ETH. This makes the attack extremely expensive; like in a PoW system, if someone uses mining hardware to attack the network, the hardware will catch fire and be destroyed.

PoS does not require energy-intensive hardware like PoW mining. Any relatively new consumer electronics hardware should be able to run the software required to pledge 32 ETH nodes. If you pledge more than 32 ETH, the agreement will allocate multiple “validator slots” for you, but you can still run them on a computer, but the hardware requirements are getting higher and higher. Most people estimate that the conversion of Ethereum to a PoS mechanism is expected to bring about 99% energy savings. Source 1 , Source 2

See also:

Answer main: /u/Chapo_Rouge

How does PoS compare to PoW?

In addition to improving efficiency, the main motivations for switching to PoS include: the decentralization and review resistance provided by PoS has increased.

PoW and PoS do have many similarities. They are completely permissionless systems, anyone can participate. Both rely on economic Sybil resistance: your influence on the network and the return you get is related to the amount of economic resources you invest (computer hardware and electricity in PoW, and tokens in PoS). Proportional. But there are important differences between the two.

To become a miner in a PoW network, you need to purchase mining hardware (usually a dedicated ASIC mining machine), have access to cheap and reliable energy, and require a high level of technical skills to operate and maintain a “mine”. Small-scale mining is possible, but economies of scale make it difficult to compete with larger and more affluent mines. In addition, due to the huge power consumption, centralized management agencies can easily discover mines and shut them down or force them to participate in attacks.

PoS, especially the PoS mechanism that will be adopted by Ethereum, is much more friendly to small-scale participants. To become a validator and start staking, you only need 32 ETH (if your holdings are lower than this number, a decentralized staking fund pool technology based on multi-party calculations is under development). The only hardware you need to participate in the PoS consensus is a modern consumer electronic product with acceptable performance (such as a laptop). A large amount of pledged ETH requires more hardware to process more shards, but only staking millions of ETH will bring you a hardware burden. It can be pledged from any location, and if you encounter a delay of several hundred milliseconds, it will not cause you great economic losses.

What is the difference between the PoS mechanism and the delegated proof of stake (dPoS) adopted by other blockchain projects?

DpoS is a consensus mechanism and usually a governance mechanism. This mechanism was first adopted by Bitshares and has been adopted in many blockchains . The consensus of the DpoS chain is run by a few nodes called block producer BP (for example, EOS has 21 BP). To become a BP, you must first register as a representative and then invite token holders to vote for you. The representative with the most votes will become BP.

DPoS has two main problems:

  1. Block production power is concentrated in the hands of 21 representatives, and there is a high risk of centralization; even if there is an election process, representatives can still seize power and begin to review transactions that they don’t like, including those of people who vote against them. .
  2. Token voting is prone to collusion and bribery attacks.

The above articles are discussed in more detail in the following articles:

These worries are not just on paper; wealthy EOS system participants have been caught voting with each other or exchanging compensation.

The PoS to be implemented in Ethereum does not have the concept of token voting; instead, users own nodes and directly pledge their tokens. Of course, users can freely “vote for” other participants with their feet by participating in the pledged funds pool of others. The key difference between the two is that the PoS of Ethereum is not easy to be corrupted by bribery and collusion like other PoS, because the incentive is through the following methods: if you join a well-performing pledge fund pool, you will get higher rewards; If you join a pool of funds pledged to attack the network and therefore subject to asset forfeiture , you will not be able to recover all of the funds. This is different from token voting. In token voting, those who vote for a malicious representative will not be punished, and those who have not voted will not be punished. Ethereum’s PoS has produced a set of completely different and safer incentives, and since a large number of pledgers choose not to join the fund pool but to conduct their own pledge operations, the degree of decentralization is further improved.

How do I participate in PoS on Ethereum?

There are many ways to participate in PoS on Ethereum. The hands-on tutorial on /r/ethstaker has a wealth of resources that novices can refer to. If you prefer to watch the video. You can take a look at Superphiz’s Intro to Eth2 & Staking. This presentation material of ETHGlobal is a good textbook for beginners.

Answer main: Lamboshi

How will PoS reduce the energy consumption of the Ethereum blockchain network?

In the PoW chain, whoever solves the block first will be rewarded. In short, PoW is a game. If you have more hashrates than your competitors, then you are more likely to win. The end result of this arms race is that PoW miners run as many GPUs as possible under 100% hardware load 24 hours a day. They do their best to get block rewards, and extreme power demand increases dramatically .

In the PoS chain, the block proposer is randomly selected -completely eliminating the need for an arms race. There is no way for any particular node to increase the overview of the blocks selected for mining-so there is no need to consume more and more resources to increase the chance of competition.

Given that PoS nodes are expected to save 99% (or more) of energy than PoW miners, PoS means that the blockchain industry has made a leap in energy conservation.

Answer main: Lamboshi , @InsideTheSim

Can “merger” solve the problem of high gas cost (network cost)?

Can’t. “Merge” is limited to upgrading the Ethereum consensus mechanism. In practice, it cannot solve any current user experience problems of Ethereum. The future upgrade roadmap of Ethereum 2.0, such as sharding , will directly help improve the gas cost issue. At present, most people in the Ethereum community believe that sharding is considered to be of lower priority than “merging”-mergers can eliminate the problem of energy waste in PoW.

Answer main: Lamboshi

What will happen to the fees paid to Ethereum miners after the “merger”?

This question is still waiting for someone in the community to answer. Want to help? Submit a Pull request in Content Repo!

If you want to answer, please click!

What is “The Cliffening”?

“The Cliffening” is the community’s name for the drastic reduction of ETH issuance. Once the “merger” occurs, Ethereum is fully upgraded to the PoS consensus algorithm. “The Cliffening” is similar to the popular vocabulary in the Bitcoin network “The Halvening”. The Bitcoin blockchain halves the issuance of Bitcoin every four years, while Ethereum cuts the issuance by about 90% in one fell swoop during the “merger”. Complete the three-time “halving” scale of Bitcoin in one go! The one-time reduction in the issuance of Ethereum is equivalent to the work that the Bitcoin network can only complete in 12 years.

Under the current PoW model, Ethereum issues approximately 13,500 ETH per day, which accounts for approximately 4.3% of the total ETH supply. However, the PoS issuance model is determined based on how much ETH is actively invested in pledges on the network. Current forecasts show that when the “merger” occurs, the annual issuance will drop to between 0.3% and 0.4%.

For comparison, Bitcoin currently issues 900 BTCs every day, and the annual circulation accounts for about 1.7% of the total BTC supply. The next two “halvings” will reduce the annual Bitcoin issuance to about 0.8% in 2024 and 0.4% in 2028. As the annual issuance volume of Ethereum after the “merger” is expected to drop to between 0.3% and 0.4%, it will not be until 2028 that the issuance of Bitcoin will drop to roughly the same proportion as the issuance of Ethereum.

When “The Cliffening” and the EIP-1559 proposal to upgrade the BASEFEE incineration mechanism (which will be included in the London hard fork of the Ethereum 1.0 PoW chain in the summer of 2021) work together, it is expected that the issuance of Ethereum will increase the amount of user activity It will actually enter a deflationary phase.

Answer main: u/Bob-Rossi , u/decibels42

So far, what risks can the “merger” bring?

Large-scale changes to agreements that bundle hundreds of billions of dollars in assets are always accompanied by risks. You can think of “merger” as: the aircraft changes its engine during the flight. Fortunately, the beacon chain (the current Ethereum PoS chain) has been running without problems since December 2020.

There are currently 4 independent clients operating PoS Ethereum nodes. This means that if PoS node operators encounter problems during a given implementation, they will be able to switch to other clients. The current PoS network is the result of years of research and hard work. Participants can relax. Before the “merger” occurs, the Ethereum core team will conduct a detailed inspection of the code used, conduct a battle test, and then check it again.

Answer: Lamboshi , @InsideTheSim

Can I test the PoS Ethereum network?

If you are interested in helping to promote the “merger” process: refer to Rayonism for details of specific assistance.

If you are a dapp developer: Consider deploying your dapp to the testnet in the ETHGlobal Scaling Ethereum hackathon (April 16 to May 14). The more the better!

If you are an L2 developer or a protocol developer, willing to help promote the “merger” process: Please recommend yourself in the Eth R&D discord channel!

If you are an Ethereum user: Be on the lookout for Please pay attention to the announcements of your favorite dapps, which will be deployed on the upcoming testnet. Please use their dapp within the scope of ensuring the safety of the test environment to help your favorite developers inspect and eliminate errors on the spot.

Answer main: TwoOfSpades

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