Ethereum 2.0 is a giant project and it was clear from the beginning that the roadmap is full of obstacles and scheduled releases could be postponed. The world got excited when it became clear earlier this year that the so-called Merge could go down as early as summer this year.
Now the event got called off in June and there will be a delay in the start of the Merge. What is the Merge, why is it important and why has it been postponed?
A few months after
Most spectators anticipated June 2022 as a possible turning point for the Ethereum blockchain. In order to shift Ethereum from proof of work to proof of stake, a whole new blockchain has been created. The Merge is an event in which the old Ethereum blockchain will dock with the brand new Ethereum 2.0 blockchain, hence the name Merge.
It was via Twitter when developer Tim Beiko explained that the Merge won’t happen in June but is rather to be expected in the months after. This puts the event somewhere between late summer and fall. It is not the first time that progress got delayed. Beiko added that there is no firm date but that Ethereum is very close to see the end of mining and closing the proof of work chapter.
Still room for layer 2
Ethereum is the largest smart contract platform on earth and its head start due to the network effect still lasts. Ethereum 2.0 is not only meant to remove the need for mining but also speed up the network that is still facing issues with fees and scalability.
It seems that both problems remain an issue to be resolved not only by the Merge but by Sharding. Since Sharding might not become available until 2023 it is even more important to have solid layer-2 solutions. Once the shift is made and Ethereum has become a proof of stake blockchain the work just doesn’t stop there.
Layer-2 rollups like Optimism or Arbitrum have attracted billions of dollars in terms of total value locked. Without Sharding these protocols remain highly important and vital to the Ethereum ecosystem since proof of stake is simply just one step towards Ethereum 2.0 but not the last piece of the puzzle that developers have been working on for the last three years.