The anticipation around the Ethereum Merge has continued to build up. While nothing is set in stone, it does seem likely that the Merge will happen according to the most recent schedule put out by the developers. This air of certainty has influenced the market greatly, and the price of the digital assets has responded in kind. As the market moves closer to the Merge, we take a look at the journey that has brought the network to where it is now and where it is headed.
The Journey So Far
Presently, everyone is so focused on the upcoming Merge, and it is not a stretch to say that a lot of the newer investors in the space do not understand what the Merge is or how it started. All that is being said about it is how the staked ETH will be finally released to the owners. However, like any important network upgrade, the Merge has been a long time coming and has seen some monumental things happen along the way.
The very first introduction to the network was with the Beacon chain launch back in 2020. This kickstarted the whole process. After this, several hard forks followed, each more important than the last.
The first would be the Berlin hard fork which took place in April of 2021 following the launch of the Beacon chain. The Altair hard fork was the next in line, happening in August, serving as the first major update to the Beacon chain.
London would follow shortly after in August 2021, and with it came the EIP-1559 fee model. The ETH burn started with this upgrade and has changed the way miners are rewarded for mining blocks on the network. It has also cut the ETH issuance by about 30% after being implemented.
The Future Of Ethereum
The Ethereum Merge is now closer than it has ever been. After the London hard fork, the lack of any ‘progress’ in the following months would begin to worry investors, sparking speculations that there would be yet another delay with the Merge, but this has not been the case.
The Merge is expected to happen in September. However, contrary to all of the anticipation that is circling the market, it is not the final step of what founder Vitalik Buterin has in store for the network. 2023 will be just as packed as the previous years, given the further upgrades expected.
ETH price trending below $1,700 | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com
An example is the Surge that is scheduled to happen in 2023. This would actually be when the increased scalability part of the move to the Consensus mechanism comes into place, and it will happen through the implementation of sharing. The Verge will optimize data storage on the network using Verkle trees, and it is also expected to take place sometime in 2023, but there is no definitive timeframe for it yet.
Other important upgrades will be the Purge and the Splurge, which remove historical data and bad debt, in the case of the Purge. The Splurge will be a number of smaller upgrades but no doubt important to the network.
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