31 Aug BREAKING OUT OF THE CROWD
ETHEREUM: The New Cornerstone of Blockchain Technology
In 2014, one programmer and several founders began to crowdfund what would soon become the second largest cryptocurrency blockchain network. ETHEREUM’s (ETH) concept was to design a decentralized network. Using a digital ledger, the major difference with Ethereum is it’s not controlled by one authority. Your data is controlled by you, and how you use it isn’t as limited.
While its competitor is a payment network, ETH provides more options and control. According to “What is Ethereum?”, it’s a “general purpose blockchain that can be programmed to do anything. As there is no limit to what Ethereum can do, it allows for great innovation to happen on the Ethereum network.”
There is no direct way to calculate how much energy is used for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining, but the figure can be estimated from the network’s hash rate and consumption by commercially available mining rigs. The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index estimates that Bitcoin, the most widely-mined cryptocurrency network, used an estimated 85 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity (0.38% of global electricity use) and about 218 TWh of energy (0.13% of global energy production) at the point of production – Almost the same amount of electricity used for mining gold less the environmental impact of waste production and chemical and pollutant emissions. approximately the same amount of electricity per year as gold mining without environmental damage.
Bitcoin uses Proof of Work (PoS). Ensuring the participant is validated in order to earn the reward, encourages participants to keep possible attackers at bay.
Brian Brooks, chief executive officer of Bitfury Group says “This is because the expense involved in taking over 51 percent of the network’s computing power – the threshold necessary to rewrite blocks of transactions on the blockchain – would be prohibitively expensive. As a result, the Bitcoin blockchain has never been hacked and no bitcoin has ever been counterfeited.”
ETH’s goal is to use Proof of Stake (PoS) in conjunction with PoW for participants. This will lower the amount of energy up to 99.99%.
The Ethereum community has built a booming digital economy, bold new ways for creators to earn online, and so much more. It’s open to everyone, wherever you are in the world – all you need is the internet.
Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality. Ether is the native cryptocurrency of the platform. Among cryptocurrencies, Ether is second only to Bitcoin in market capitalization.
Ethereum developers have been celebrating as they advance toward the “merge”—an event hailed as the most important technological upgrade in the history of crypto.
But what exactly is the “merge”? It represents a shift to something called “proof of stake.” But there are few detailed accounts of the technical process and the merger’s implications for the larger crypto ecosystem.
The Merge represents the joining of the existing execution layer of Ethereum (the Mainnet we use today) with its new proof-of-stake consensus layer, the Beacon Chain. It eliminates the need for energy-intensive mining and instead secures the network using staked ETH. A truly exciting step in realizing the Ethereum vision – more scalability, security, and sustainability.
The goal is to work out the bugs by using PoS in conjunction with PoW, eventually taking the Merge to a whole new blockchain network.
Consider this analogy from the developers. Ethereum is a spaceship that isn’t quite ready for an interstellar voyage. With the Beacon Chain, the community has built a new engine and a hardened hull. After significant testing, it’s almost time to swap the new engine for the old mid-flight. This will merge the new, more efficient engine into the existing ship, ready to put in some serious lightyears and take on the universe.
HOLDERS FUNDS SAFETY
Your funds entering The Merge are protected. As a user or holder of ETH or any other digital asset on Ethereum, as well as non-node-operating stakers, you do not need to do anything with your funds or wallet before The Merge.
Despite swapping out PoW, the entire history of Ethereum since genesis will remain intact and unaltered after the transition to PoS. Any funds held in your wallet before The Merge will still be accessible after The Merge. No action is required to upgrade on your part.
As with any financial transaction on the internet, keep alert. As The Merge of Ethereum Mainnet moves forward, there will be scammers trying to take advantage of users during this transition. Do not send your ETH anywhere in an attempt to “upgrade to ETH2.” There is no “ETH2” token, and there is nothing more you need to do for your funds to remain safe.