After the Ethereum team successfully activated the landmark Shadow Fork version of the MEV (Miner-Extractable Value) feature and determined the expected time to deploy The Merge in the third week of September, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin unexpectedly revealed the first plans for the platform’s evolution following the move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
Specifically, on July 21, at the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) being held in Paris (France), Vitalik Buterin discussed publicly what will happen when The Merge is completed. On his personal page, Buterin also posted a detailed roadmap.
According to him, Ethereum will have to undergo further upgrades divided into four different phases, including The Surge (growth), The Verge (limit), The Purge (purification) and The Splurge (explosion).
Ethereum: The Surge
For The Surge stage, Vitalik Buterin mentioned the addition of sharding technology, a scaling solution that the Ethereum Foundation claims will further allow Layer 2 protocols to operate more efficiently, reducing fees and making it easier for users to operate Ethereum network security nodes. Besides, Buterin added that once the growth phase is complete, the Ethereum network will also process transactions faster.
“Ethereum today can handle about 15-20 transactions per second. At the end of this roadmap, however, Ethereum will be a much more scalable system. Eventually, Ethereum will be able to process 100,000 transactions per second.
In terms of overall network development, Ethereum will be 55% complete once we implement The Merge. So there is more work for developers ahead.”
Ethereum: The Verge
Next in The Verge phase, Ethereum will build an easy-to-use lightweight client for consensus and execution layer solutions as well as Layer 2 on top of the platform. Then there is better support for investors looking to become validators of network transactions but owning less than 32 ETH required to stake the protocol.
This new model, called “verkle trees,” is seen as a major upgrade allowing for much smaller proof sizes. This will optimize storage on Ethereum and help reduce node size, enabling ETH to become more scalable. Basically, these technical upgrades will allow users to become network validators without having to store large amounts of data on their machines. In Buterin’s view, The Verge will be a great tool to help make ETH more decentralized.
At the stage of The Purge, Vitalik Buterin wanted to reduce the hard drive space required for validators on Ethereum with the aim of helping to eliminate historical data, and bad debt, and streamline storage, thus reducing network congestion passed proposal EIP-4444.
This can have a significant impact on the overall ETH network in the process of operation and expansion. But Buterin believes that building a better-decentralized ecosystem requires “sacrifice” in the short term to achieve long-term benefits.
And coming to the final stage of The Splurge, Ethereum will conduct a series of other upgrades to ensure the network runs more smoothly compared to the previous 4 stages.
Accordingly, Buterin has planned to improve Ethereum with better cryptographic technologies in The Splurge, which is quantum resistant and integrates well with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) as well as Zero-knowledge (ZK) technology. In addition, a detail of great interest at this stage is that improvements to the EIP-1559 combustion mechanism will also be implemented.
“We also need to keep an open mind, because I don’t know exactly what the needs of 2032 will be.”
However, the Ethereum founder also shared his scepticism about the potential new opportunities, including adding support for many complex virtual machines that are too “comfortable” with technologies like zk-SNARK or make the protocol so complex that it makes them incomprehensible without the support of industry experts.
Although Vitalik Buterin thinks that pursuing these decentralized goals is difficult because of the complexity of the network and the rapid pace of change in the blockchain space, he asserts that the Ethereum team is still working very hard just to complete the roadmap set out in response to the community’s expectations of network upgrades at the moment.
ETH Prices Nudge Higher
The price of Ethereum has been on an upward trajectory this week, gaining almost 32% since last Monday. At the time of writing it’s trading at $1,565 after briefly touching a peak value of around 1,600 during late hours last night (July 21st).
Ethereum gained 5.7% in the last 24hrs compared to Bitcoin’s low 0.5% following the Tesla selloff.
Cryptocurrency markets have been bearish for most of the year, with Ethereum being 68% down from its November 2021 high.