Ethereum: New proposal seeks to speed up merger of Eth1 and Eth2

  • Ethereum’s core devs consider accelerating “the merge” to Eth2 phase 1.5 to enable the operability of the Beacon Chain.
  • Eth2 coordinator Danny Ryan confirmed the allocation of resources to accelerate the implementation of “the Merger”.

Over 3 months have passed since the launch of Beacon Chain, Ethereum‘s proof of stake-based blockchain (Eth2), and the start of phase 0 in the transition from proof of work (Eth1). While Eth1 continues to suffer from high fees and severe congestion, a rollout of Eth2 is not scheduled yet. However, to speed up the process, project coordinator Danny Ryan and Teku’s Mikhail Kalinin have presented a way, “The Merge,” in an Eth2 developer call to make Eth2 usable for projects more quickly.

With an estimated phase 1.5 rollout within the next year, the merge of Eth1 and Eth2 is the next major milestone for Ethereum’s transition. This event will allow applications and developers working on the existing blockchain to move to the Beacon Chain. In the call addressed, Kalinin presented the initial specifications for “the Merge.” Kalinin posted a pull request on GitHub.

Buterin urges acceleration of ‘merger’

As reported by developer Alex Stokes, there was discussion of accelerating this event by concentrating on implementing “the minimum viable specifications” and then focusing on the more complex requirements. In that way, they would implement an “executable Beacon Chain”. Stokes stated:

(…) we discussed how to accelerate the merge timeline, with the main take-away being getting more eyes on the spec from a client implementation standpoint and focus on the minimum viable spec (as the design space is quite large but the fancier stuff will take longer to ship).

During the discussion, Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin, who originated the idea, expressed a desire to move the merge along faster or at least explore opportunities to do so. In response, project coordinator Danny Ryan stated that over the next few days resources will be allocated to enable it.

Ethereum Foundation member Josh Stark explained this milestone by comparing Eth1’s blockchain to a network of buses that use fossil fuel. In that case, the Beacon Chain is the alternative that the community has decided to replace with a model that “uses 99.98% less energy”. Stark added:

This fleet is already on the road, being tested out, but not yet with any passengers (…). Then, the community needs to swap out one fleet for the other, all at once. This is usually called the “merge” – when the existing Ethereum network will swap over to using the Beacon chain, instead of Proof of Work.

The Beacon Chain will be more scalable than the PoW based blockchain. With the increase in network fees for DeFi related use cases, NFTs, and the controversy of miners rejecting EIP-1559, phase 1.5 of Eth2 could be the holy grail to be the beginning of solving a lot of problems.

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