Beyond Eth 2.0: Post-Merge Starter Kit
The Ethereum Merge Ushers a New Era for Crypto: Now What?
- All Staked Eth will remain locked up until Ethereum’s next upgrade: Shanghai (H1 2023)
- Trading was unaffected and continues post-Merge.
- NDAX users may continue to stake their Eth until Shanghai Upgrade
- There is no action required on your part. If someone reaches out to you claiming the contrary, it is most likely fraud or a phishing attempt. Please stay vigilant!
The crypto community has been building towards this moment since the concept of Proof-of-Stake was first ideated in 2012–a year before Vitalik and his partners founded Ethereum–and 3 years before the DAO Hack of 2015. The Ethereum Foundation began its plans to move over from PoW to PoS with Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 3575 in July of 2021… But de facto, since the idea of PoS predates the Beacon Chain by 8 years, one would imagine PoS had been top of mind–if not at least considered–by the Ethereum Foundation for most of its existence…
Well, friends, we are pleased to report that the long-awaited Ethereum move from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake has gone off without a hitch and all operations are fully functional since XXX Date of the merge! When the Beacon chain went live in December of 2020, it allowed network participants to begin staking their Ether in anticipation of XX date of the merge event, which turned Stakers of Ethereum into the new network transaction validators (in lieu of Ethereum miners, who handled that job until now.)
Ethereum’s mainnet (PoW) and its Beacon Chain (PoS) have, of course, run in parallel for the last 2 years, and in the early hours of Thursday, September 15th, they completed their merge. The blockchain has evolved into a new consensus mechanism validated by Ethereum Stakers on the Beacon Chain. Ostensibly, the Ethereum network now uses 99.99% less energy and allows greater scalability and security.
And while our little blockchain may seem all grown up… This is just the beginning…
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
For those interested in participating in the network's new consensus mechanism and sharing in the rewards of validating and maintaining the network, NDAX users may continue to stake their Ether as before. If you’ve already been staking Ether, you may be wondering when you’ll be able to free up your coins to resume trading, or whether you can add to your stack of staked Ether.
Firstly, stakers and future stakers of Ethereum should be aware that any Ether staked up to now–and until the next Shanghai upgrade (expected for early 2023)--may not be unstaked until the said upgrade. For all intents and purposes, this staked ether is locked up.
AFTER THE MERGE: THE SURGE, THE VERGE, THE PURGE AND THE SPLURGE
We’re not being cute; this is the Ethereum Roadmap post-merge. But not to worry, we won’t be getting overly technical here; the idea is to provide an overview of what’s to come over the next few *gulp* decades. NBD. But first–
Shanghai is expected to address–most likely among other features–the ability to withdraw Staked Ether. No decisions have yet been made as to what else–if anything–the next scheduled upgrade will enable on Ethereum; the Ethereum Foundation is set to begin tackling this question in the next few weeks.
The Shanghai upgrade is loosely planned for Q1 or Q2 2023, so to be conservative, if you would like to stake your ETH make sure to allow yourself room for plenty of delays when planning how much ETH you’re comfortable not having access to until then.
THE SURGE: POST-SHANGHAI SHARDING
The Surge will focus on scaling, i.e. improving Ethereum’s transaction throughput. To achieve this, the surge will prioritize sharding. Please bare with us through some quick basic technical jargon: You’ll see why this is important for long-term Ethereum investors to know. With that said…
What is sharding in traditional computer science parlance? It means dividing a database horizontally so participants can so to speak divide and conquer.
Ethereum’s version of this is called Danksharding: It means making transaction data availability cheaper by freeing up the computational strengths of rollups to achieve additional scalability on L2. (Ethereum delegates some work to Layer 2s/scaling solutions because their computational power is cheaper, and they don’t necessarily need to engage the mainnet with every aspect of every transaction… But this vision will take more planning, discussion and Ethereum developer community input and buy-in. So in the meantime, the focus will be on easing into Danksharding by enabling a first ‘Minimum Effective Dose’ called Protodanksharding. Stay with us!
Rollups: They’re the preferred layer-2 solution for scaling Ethereum. They bundle 100s of transactions into a single transaction on layer 1, hence dividing the gas fees by everyone in the rollup. (E.g. $20 Gas fee for one transaction: $20/transaction. $20 gas fee for 250 transactions inside a single rollup; $0.08/transaction. This is not insignificant.
Rollup transactions are executed on a layer-2 chain (such as Polygon or Polkadot) but the transaction data is published on layer 1 (Ethereum). Therefore, rollups inherit the security of Ethereum while allowing considerably less computing power and much cheaper transaction costs.
The goal here is to enable radically cheaper transaction fees across the board (which currently hamper mass adoption) while increasing decentralization (because ecosystem participants will need significantly less computing power to participate). This is just the beginning. Aren’t you glad you stuck around?
Whereas the Surge will seek to increase throughput, The Verge will aim to further decrease the basic hardware requirements of validators.
The premise is that transactions can be verified by validator nodes without their needing to download a full copy of the Ethereum state for each transaction (which requires an ever-growing amount of storage and hence hampers network participation).
The goal then is that if nodes can validate the network using only RAM (random access memory) rather than solid-state storage (which is slower and requires more computing power), the number of nodes validating the network will increase, and with it, network decentralization, security, and censorship resistance.
Similarly to the Verge, the Purge will seek to lighten transaction loads by shortening the blockchain history, when appropriate, so that nodes can sync up via a more recent checkpoint block (within 1 year) rather than the genesis block (and hence the entire history of Ethereum transactions).
If validator nodes can categorically get on the same page with just a few months of data, it stands to reason that things are going to move a lot faster than if they have to lug around the entire blockchain’s history on each transaction.
It’s a catch-all phrase that rhymes with the rest of its roadmap counterparts. Anything that’s on the agenda that hasn’t already been addressed in previous phases, will most likely fall into this one.
We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Suffice it to say, you’ve now got a bird’s eye view of the Ethereum Foundation’s to-do list for the next decade or so. Maybe discuss it with your partner over dinner tonight?
THE NEW PoS CONSENSUS SYSTEM’S POWER BROKERS
Blockchain analytics platform Nansen recently found that just over 11% of the total circulating ETH is staked.
65% of Staked Ether is liquid, while 35% is illiquid.
There are 426,000 validators and some 80,000 depositors.
30% of staked ETH can be accounted for by 3 major cryptocurrency exchanges: Coinbase, Kraken and Binance.
31% of Staked ETH lives at Lido DAO (the largest ‘non-exchange’ staking provider)
While an unlabelled group of validators holds about 23% of staked ETH.
There are currently 2 recent PoW Ethereum forks, in addition to Ethereum Classic (ETC) which dates back to the DAO hack of 2015.
The most recent PoW Ethereum fork is called ETHPoW (ETHW), and has quickly gained greater momentum than its earlier-to-market EthereumFair (ETF) counterpart, which dates back to a Chinese Ethereum mining consortium in January of 2020.
These forks are being considered by financial service providers that offer exchange-traded products (ETPs) such as Grayscale, and others, as well as anywhere that large quantities of Ether are held on behalf of investors (such as centralized exchanges).
If and when more information becomes available, NDAX will promptly notify our clients about any information regarding the forked asset. If any ETHPoW fork becomes viable and there is enough continued demand, we will use our standard listing criteria to determine whether to support the trading of the fork.
ONWARDS: WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
The average Ethereum user and ETH holder need not worry about losing their funds or making any changes to their wallets before, during, or after the Merge. The entire history of the Ethereum blockchain has been carried across in the transition and all funds are still accessible and safe. But most importantly—
BE VIGILANT OF SCAMS
While there is absolutely no action required on your part, we do ask that you stay extra vigilant. The industry expects a sizable wave of Merge/Staking-themed scams and phishing attacks. NDAX will never ask you to transfer any digital assets under any circumstance.
Cointelegraph has compiled a list of the three most common ways malicious actors are trying to leverage the Merge to steal your Ether:
- Fraudulent staking pools,
- Upgrade scams, and
- Fake airdrops.
You do not need to upgrade your wallet or send your ETH anywhere to receive new tokens. This bears repeating: You do not need to upgrade any wallets or send your ETH anywhere to receive new tokens.
The Ethereum and crypto community at large have big plans and high hopes for Ethereum and its exciting ecosystem, but we can only buidl (crypto slang for build) if your ETH stays safe!
We value and appreciate your trust, and encourage you to contact us with any questions.
Team tireless at NDAX
Misleading information has been circulating online, and many scammers are looking to take advantage of those looking for a source of information. Please use only the official Ethereum website and Twitter page as a source of information.
Please do not send your ETH to a third party in an attempt to participate in an airdrop or upgrade your ETH. As of now, there are no official airdrops. Ethereum holders are not required to complete any steps during this upgrade.
If you have any questions,
please contact our customer service team: