Ethereum Merge Edition Part 2: Moving to proof of stake is like swapping planes in flight



Episode 85 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block's Tim Copeland and Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan.

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In part one of this three-part Ethereum Merge special edition of The Scoop, Lex Sokolin — head economist at Consensys — examined how The Merge will improve web3’s reputation outside of the crypto space.

In this episode of The Scoop, Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan provides a technical overview of The Merge, and explains why it took longer than expected to prepare the network for its transition to proof of stake.

According to Ryan, changing the consensus mechanism of an active blockchain is no small feat:

“It's like we built this better plane and started flying it next to the existing proof-of-work plane, and we're actually taking the payload, we're taking all the contents out of the proof-of-work plane, and we're putting in this other plane in flight.”

Although The Merge was initially supposed to happen years ago, translating the mathematical concepts that underpin the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism into production took longer than expected.

As Ryan explains,

“You have these beautiful mathematical algorithms and proofs and design goals, and then when it comes time to actually turn that into something concrete and actionable, there's a lot of work to do.”


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During this episode, Copeland and Ryan also discuss:

  • How The Merge severs Ethereum’s relationship to energy consumption.
  • Why the Ethereum proof-of-work forks are unlikely to succeed.
  • What happens next once The Merge is complete.

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Tron, Chainalysis & IWC Schaffhausen

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About Chainalysis
Chainalysis is the leading blockchain data platform. We provide data, software, services, and research to government agencies, exchanges, financial institutions, and insurance and cybersecurity companies in over 60 countries. Backed by Accel, Addition, Benchmark, Coatue, Paradigm, Ribbit, and other leading firms in venture capital, Chainalysis builds trust in blockchains to promote more financial freedom with less risk. For more information, visit

About IWC Schaffhausen
IWC Schaffhausen is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Known for its unique engineering approach to watchmaking, IWC combines the best of human craftsmanship and creativity with cutting-edge technology and processes. With collections like the Portugieser and the Pilot’s Watches, the brand covers the whole spectrum from elegant timepieces to sports watches. For more information, visit


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About Authors

Davis Quinton is the Director of Podcasts at The Block and runs our flagship podcast called The Scoop, hosted by Frank Chaparro. Since joining The Block as an 'intern' in early 2022, he has worked closely with leaders across departments to translate The Block's written content into engaging multimedia formats. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Tim is the Editor-In-Chief of The Block. Prior to joining The Block, Tim was a news editor at Decrypt. He has earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of York and studied news journalism at Press Association Training. Follow him on X @Timccopeland.