What’s The ETH Merge? [ Explained Simply With Animations ]


What is The ETH Merge?

The Merge is the next step in the evolution of Ethereum. It is an upcoming event that will see the existing execution layer merged with the recently deployed consensus layer (the Beacon Chain) — this will form a mainnet platform secured by proof-of-stake, while still maintaining the original Ethereum state.

Right now, there are two independent blockchains for Ethereum operating in isolation. These are the current proof of work (POW) Ethereum chain and a separate proof of stake Beacon Chain.

Following the merge, the Beacon Chain (currently used only for testing) will act as Ethereum’s consensus layer, and will store and manage the registry of validators — these validators will help secure the network by bundling transactions into blocks for addition to the blockchain. Meanwhile, Ethereum’s POW mechanism will be permanently scrapped.

The Merge aims to dramatically improve the efficiency of the Ethereum platform by eliminating the need for energy-intensive mining. It instead allows a network of validators to take over the role of block production and consensus.

Following The Merge, Ethereum’s energy usage and carbon footprint will decrease by approximately 99.95%, tackling one of the major sticking points for regulators, developers and users — its environmental impact.

It is expected that The Merge will help to further decentralize Ethereum by democratizing access to the validator set. Over time, this will also improve its security, since more participants will make it harder and more costly to coordinate a 51% attack.

The Merge will also help lay the foundations for further upgrades that will improve Ethereum’s scalability — potentially including support for sharding and verkle trees.

The Merge is currently expected to take place on September 15, 2022. That said, this is a soft deadline, which means it is subject to change.

For Ethereum users, The Merge will not lead to a noticeable change when it comes to interacting with Ethereum DApps or submitting transactions — most wallets and centralized platforms will continue to work as usual.

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