What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain network that uses Ether (ETH) tokens for its operations. Users can make transactions, stake their tokens to gain interest, create and sell NFTs, play games, and use social media using the Ethereum blockchain. It offers some of the popular crypto offerings, such as decentralized apps (DApps), decentralized finance (DeFi), and decentralized exchanges (DEXs).
Ethereum’s roadmap is a plan to improve the functionality of the blockchain by enhancing its capabilities such as reducing high gas fees, improving finality, reducing centralization and improving scalability. The Roadmap is a clear path to progress laid out by the Ethereum developer community.
The Ethereum Roadmap encapsulates the set goals to improve scalability and security and prepare the Ethereum blockchain for decades to come. Ethereum is also a remarkably open blockchain where new ideas can be incorporated into.
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Ethereum Development Milestones
In September 2022, Ethereum went through a process called “The Merge”, which combined the Ethereum mainnet with the Beacon Chain, converting it to a proof-of-stake-based chain. Following that, developers launched the Shanghai Capella update on April 12, 2023, allowing stakers to withdraw ETH from deposit Smart contracts using EIP-4895.
While this update did not boost throughput, it addressed key issues and prepared for future upgrades. Ethereum’s energy use dropped by 99.95% when it switched from high-power proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. This switch to the PoS system began with the Beacon Chain’s launch in December 2020.
Several modifications were implemented in 2021, including the Berlin and London upgrades, which reduced gas fees, and the implementation of Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559 (EIP-1559). The Altair and Arrow Glacier upgrades improved the operation of the Beacon Chain.
Ethereum Upgrade Timeline
Ethereum’s co-creator, Vitalik Buterin, has given a four-step plan for Ethereum’s progress post-Merge. Although these plans lack specific details now, they sketch out Ethereum’s path ahead.
- The Surge: This refers to an upgrade in the Ethereum blockchain through a process called “Sharding” that can help in processing several transactions in parallel, thereby increasing transaction throughput speed.
- The Verge: This process is about the implementation of Verkle trees in the blockchain, which can massively improve blockchain efficiency.
- The Purge: This process involves the removal of unwanted data on the blockchain after the implementation of “Surge” and “ Verge” which can likely take up the blockchain speed to 100,000 transactions per second.
- The Splurge: Although not very clear, this process hints at the possibility of opening up the Ethereum blockchain to develop a far greater number of Dapps than today.
The Ethereum roadmap roughly sketches the community’s ideas for past and future improvements that tackle the network’s growth and future problems. When each update phase is done, Ethereum will be one of the top blockchains in terms of efficiency and affordability.
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