Thursday, September 28, 2023

Ethereum Upgrades: What’s Coming After The Merge?

Ethereum co-founder and CEO Vitalik Buterin revealed an updated roadmap for the blockchain post-Merge. Additionally, he announced a new edition to the Ethereum upgrades to “ensure reliable and credible neutral transaction inclusion,” called The Scourge. After the Tornado Cash debacle, the latest upgrade will attempt to combat centralization in blockchain tech. With that said, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Ethereum upgrades and when to expect them. 

There are five more Ethereum upgrades in the works (for now). 

The Merge was a massive step forward for the Ethereum community, cutting the blockchain’s energy consumption by over 99%. However, scalability issues, meaning slow transaction times and high gas fees, are still issues for the blockchain. Enter Ethereum’s next upgrade, The Surge. The Surge is the long-awaited implementation of sharding to the blockchain, making Ethereum highly scalable. Along with sharding, The Surge will also see the implementation of basic rollups. All in all, The Surge seeks to increase Ethereum’s efficiency to 100,000 transactions per second. 

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The Scourge  

Despite its ominous title, The Scourge will eliminate bot-driven crypto trading known as maximal extractable value (MEV). Essentially, Buterin and company want to keep Ethereum as decentralized as possible. The Scourge is a direct result of the US Treasury’s sanctions against crypto mixer Tornado Cash. Although, there aren’t many details about the technical side of the Scourge yet.

After The Scourge comes The Verge, an upgrade that makes verifying blocks easier for nodes. According to Buterin’s updated roadmap, The Verge should make Ethereum gas prices even cheaper and implement succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge (SNARK) to the blockchain. SNARKing is a method of zero-knowledge rollups, an answer to scalability that protects user data by moving it off-chain.

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The endgame for Ethereum

The endgame for Ethereum upgrades is The Purge and The Splurge. The former refines all the previous upgrades and will “eliminate most gas refunds,” according to Buterin. Finally, The Splurge should be the final layer of polish that smooths out all the bells and whistles. The Surge should come sometime in 2023, but there are no tentative dates for the rest of the roadmap.


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