On Sep. 15 at 06:42:42 UTC, the Merge finally took place. At block 15,537,393, the Ethereum mainnet execution layer merged with the Beacon Chain’s consensus layer at the Terminal Total Difficulty of 58,750,000,000,000,000,000,000.
It’s official: Ethereum is now proof-of-stake. The immediate impact of the Merge is that it’ll make the network 99.95% more energy efficient and will form the foundation for future scaling solutions.
Furthermore, another consequence of the transition to PoS is the reduced issuance of ETH rewards to validators, making Ether a deflationary asset. So, what’s next?
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Status of Ethereum’s Protocol Development
Following the Merge, Vitalik Buterin published a graphic signifying the status of Ethereum’s protocol development and what’s coming. The Merge is set to be followed by four key phases the Surge, the Verge, the Purge, and the Splurge.
These stages will bring the Ethereum network to the ”endgame” of its development, according to Vitalik.
The Surge will feature sharding the process of separating a database horizontally to spread the network’s workload in synergy with layer-2 rollups. A large amount of data will be split across the network, reducing network congestion and allowing average users to run Ethereum nodes on devices like PCs and smartphones.
The Verge will utilize Merkle trees to optimize data storage and node size. The Purge will remove ”technical debt” i.e. spare historical data, to reduce the amount of data needed to be stored by a validator, enabling the network to handle 100,000 transactions per second. The Splurge will feature a host of miscellaneous upgrades.
It was a landmark moment in crypto, however, one would be forgiven for believing that there are several more to come. This is just the beginning.
Comprehensive Framework For Crypto Regulation in the U.S.
This is the first time a comprehensive framework for the regulation of crypto in the United States has been proposed. Published on the White House website, the fact sheet consists of 7 sections:
- Protecting Consumers, Investors, and Businesses
- Promoting Access to Safe, Affordable Financial Services
- Fostering Financial Stability
- Advancing Responsible Innovation
- Reinforcing Our Global Financial Leadership and Competitiveness
- Fighting Illicit Finance
- Exploring a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
Take a look at the fact sheet on the White House website.