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.”

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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