Top Narratives About Ethereum and Its Merge with Its Proof-of-Stake Beacon C

Categories: Bitcoin

Ethereum (ETH) has launched Kiln, the final testnet its development community will use prior to the blockchain network's long-awaited transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. Now that Kiln has gone live, it should be more or less only a matter of time before Ethereum will complete its ‘merge’ with the PoS beacon chain, which is due in Q2 2022.This merge -- which will see Ethereum’s original execution/settlement layer integrate with the beacon chain’s new consensus layer -- is likely to be one of the biggest events in the crypto sector in 2022. However, as exciting as it will be for the Ethereum and wider crypto communities, it won’t be without its controversies and misconceptions, while there’s also a good chance that it could reignite the ongoing rivalry between Bitcoin (BTC)/proof-of-work (PoW) and Ethereum/PoS maximalists.

The decentralization, security, and fairness debate

“I think there are a lot of misconceptions around the merge, not only from Bitcoiners. The biggest ones are probably around decentralization, security, and fairness,” said Ethereum developer Marius van der Wijden.Of course, this isn’t a view shared by the developers and coders working on Ethereum’s particular version of PoS, which according to van der Wijden can’t simply be judged in terms of previous instances of the consensus mechanism. Indeed, for him, Ethereum’s implementation of PoS “excels” with regards to the aforementioned categories of decentralization, security, and fairness.

Naturally, people sitting more within the Bitcoin camp don’t agree that PoS is superior to PoW. Bitcoin educator, author, and programmer Jimmy Song is one of these, and he tells Cryptonews.com that much of the discussion surrounding Ethereum’s transition misses one very important fact.That would mean that Ethereum’s merge will result in it no longer being robust against potential attacks involving bad actors. This, however, is not an account Ethereum developers agree with, with Marius van der Wijden explaining that Ethereum will introduce a number of solutions to prevent common attacks such as ‘nothing at stake’ and ‘long range attacks.’

“Scaling on Ethereum will be achieved, similar to Bitcoin, by using Layer 2 solutions such as payment channels or rollups. What PoS will enable though is sharding: it's a lot easier to build sharding on top of PoS than on PoW,” he said.However, while reporting on a Bitcoin vs. Ethereum rivalry may sometimes overstate the issue, industry figures expect the merge to change the dynamic between the two networks, as well as the values of the wider crypto ecosystem and its users.As van der Wijden says, “I hope that the move to PoS will also result in more users that are very environmentally conscious to join Ethereum and build on it. We've seen a lot of hate, especially against NFT projects, for their perceived environmental impact.”hain

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