What’s Next After Ethereum’s Merger?

Core developers of Ethereum are already discussing what will make up the Shanghai upgrade of its network, but its details are yet to be determined.

After years of anticipation and wait, Ethereum’s significant transition to proof of stake took place without issue early Thursday morning.

For nearly half a decade, the Ethereum hard fork consumed the energy and focus of its elite cadre of core developers who had billions at stake and no margin for error.

What other achievements has Ethereum accomplished now that they have accomplished such an immense technical achievement?

Ethereum’s core developers will take a brief respite from decision-making for two to three weeks, though this break won’t last.

In the coming month, the core developers of Ethereum must reach a decision regarding Shanghai development as there have been significant disagreements among themselves and billions are at stake in making an important decision for their platform.

Withdrawal of Ethereum is perhaps the most essential feature that needs to be included in the Shanghai upgrade.

From now on, all Ethereum transactions will be verified by individuals and organisations that have staked significant quantities of ETH instead of energy-intensive miners. Staking allows these organisations to generate and collect additional ETH in return for providing computing power needed to validate transactions and safeguard the network.

Currenty, Ethereum has no withdrawal feature for its staking mechanism and any funds staked can only be deposited. As a result, $21 billion worth of ETH currently staked on its network cannot be withdrawn until developers add one.

Core developers understandably want the Shanghai upgrade to provide withdrawal capability as soon as possible.

What exactly will be included in the upgrade is less certain.

What Next For Ethereum After Staking?

What next for Ethereum after staking
What next for Ethereum after staking

Everyone’s priorities vary and what constitutes “pressing” concerns is subjective,” Zoltu explained.

Shanghai will likely bring updates to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the developer-oriented mechanism behind Ethereum that regulates how blocks interact on its network. Two years ago, these improvements weren’t integrated due to potential integration complications during merge processes – which makes this update especially appealing.

Van Der Wijden noted that adding any more complexity to the merge would exponentially increase testing time and make the task even harder.

Ethereum’s long-rumored implementation of scalability technology rollups remains a hotly debated subject.

Rollups allow transactions to be aggregated together into one transaction presented to the Ethereum blockchain, thus decreasing slow speeds and high gas fees associated with Ethereum.

Prior to danksharding becoming practical, a pre-danksharding stage would exist that allowed large amounts of data to be verified using sampling small amounts from them. On layer-2 Ethereum networks like Optimism and Arbitrum this update greatly expedited and simplified this verification of large volumes of information.

Van Der Wijden claims this approach will significantly decrease the amount of gas utilized by rollups on-chain, enabling them to scale more rapidly with substantially reduced transaction costs.

Danksharding may appeal to layer-2 users, who stand to see gas fees decrease and transaction times reduced as a result of this upgrade. But such developments come at a price.

Shanghai will only make their upgrade more complex and potentially delayed if they incorporate multiple features into it.

Van Der Wijden believes that some research-focused individuals don’t recognize that all this must be implemented and tested; if Shanghai had 10 updates, testing each update individually as well as how they interact with one another is imperative; testing becomes exponentially more demanding as more features are added to an upgrade.

Shanghai has yet to decide its upgrade process; however, Van Der Wijden remains confident that this process will be completed within one year.

More and more Ethereum users and developers are turning their focus toward other key upgrades to the network, including proto-danksharding which represents both an immediate and distant threat to its stability.

21 billion dollars will remain dormant until that day comes.

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