Ethereum’s (CCC:ETH-USD) Merge will be a significant moment, not just for the Ethereum network, but for the entire crypto world. The Merge, which will bring the largest network restructuring in Ethereum’s existence, will transition ETH from the energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus algorithm to the proof-of-stake model. A major step to this transition will be the Altair upgrade, the biggest ETH news of the month. The incoming upgrade will further set the stage for the much larger Merge.
The Altair upgrade isn’t just on the horizon, it’s hurdling toward crypto bulls. With that in mind, what’s behind the Altair upgrade? How does it further the Merge? And what exactly is part of this upgrade?
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the launch.
ETH News: Altair Brings Ethereum Closer to Proof-of-Stake
- Altair is coming tomorrow, Oct. 27.
- The upgrade will be unnoticeable to front-end Ethereum network users.
- However, node operators will have to upgrade their client, or risk not being able to participate in the network post-Merge.
- Developers are threatening to also impose fees on those who do not upgrade.
- Rather than upgrading the Ethereum main network, Altair will affect the network’s Beacon Chain.
- The Beacon Chain is a sort of sibling chain to the main Ethereum network. It is comprised of all the changes the main network will see with the implementation of the Merge. As the name implies, the Merge will occur when the main network merges with the Beacon Chain. This will happen when the Beacon Chain is fully capable of handling all of the changes developers want to bring to the main network.
- The Beacon Chain was created with the London hard fork, an upgrade which initially set the stage to begin transitioning toward the proof-of-stake model. Importantly, the Beacon Chain also introduced staking.
- The Altair upgrade won’t actually implement any huge changes. Rather, it’s a sort of warm-up to the big Merge. As such, it’s very important that node operators update their clients, or else the development team won’t be able to gauge whether the Merge will be successful.
- After the Altair upgrade, developers think they won’t have to conduct any more Beacon Chain upgrades before the Merge.
- When the Merge finally happens, proof-0f-stake will come to the main Ethereum net. Developers say this transition won’t just be energy-efficient, but also more secure.
- Rather than mining, proof-of-stake allows users to stake their holdings in liquidity pools, which reward stakers back with ETH.
- It also will implement shard chains. Shard chains break down data and send it across multiple chains to up transaction speeds.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.