Where will PoW and PoS communities go after Ethereum merger

An 8-year relationship finally ended after the successful merger of Ethereum yesterday. The PoW supporters represented by miners and the PoS supporters represented by Vitalik butyrin finally broke up in discord in this big merger event that can be recorded in the history of Crypto.

In the circle of friends, we can see that there are two very fragmented groups. Many hard core supporters of PoW are fiercely attacking the incident and proof of rights (PoS), and some former Ethereum early supporters put forward a very offensive view: Is PoS a lie?

Crypto enthusiasts, who are not so concerned about the consensus mechanism, gave their blessing to the successful merger of Ethereum.

(Figure 1: Ethereum was merged successfully)

As for which is right and which is wrong, it is still up to time to judge. I wrote this article to simply state the possible future of the two groups.

The group of PoW miners to the east

After ETH completely abandoned the Proof of Workload (PoW), the graphic card miners were forced to move away from the Ethereum gold mine, and they will embark on the journey of searching for new mines, or shut down the machine to completely bid farewell to the graphic card mining business.

For example, the Ethernet Fork Networks such as ETC and ETHW are the first stop of the current video card miners. For example, the computing power of ETC, an early Fork, soared from 70 TH/s in the previous period to 311.82 TH/s at the morning peak.

(Figure 2: ETC calculation force change, data from 2miners. com)

However, the explosion of computing power did not promote the increase of ETC currency price, which means that miners may face the situation of "digging more and losing more", and then we saw the phenomenon of computing power escaping.

It is obvious that these forked coins without user support cannot bear such huge computing power of video card mining machine.

They need new mining opportunities, such as new Layer 1 and  Layer 2's zero knowledge proof (ZKP) mining market, which will be their next stop.

(Figure 3: Miners go to ZKP new mine to find new opportunities)

Of course, these new mining opportunities will also bring great uncertainty. No one knows whether it will be a gold mine or a trap.

PoS Community to the West

After completely turning to Proof of Rights (PoS), Ethereum can finally go to the next station for capacity expansion. According to the plan, the next major upgrade of Ethereum is called Shanghai upgrade. As stated by developer Tim Beiko, this upgrade will focus on three key issues of Ethereum:

  1. Introduced EVM object format change (EIP-3540);

  2. Withdrawal of beacon chain (EIP-4895);

  3. Reduce gas cost (capacity expansion, specific EIP included has not been determined);

It is reported that the Shanghai upgrade will introduce EIP-3540, also known as EVM object format. The core element of the update is the separation of code and data, which may be very beneficial to the chain verifier. In addition to separation, EIP-3540 also introduces a new contract code part, which helps to handle and solve complex functions, such as account abstraction, control flow in EVM, and EIP-3074.

Second, the Shanghai upgrade will also solve the problem of beacon chain exit. The current Ethereum pledgers cannot withdraw their ETH deposits. After the Shanghai upgrade, this problem will be solved, which will be very important for some pledge derivatives. EIP-4895 solves this problem. It is worth mentioning that the withdrawal does not consume gas, which keeps the operating cost at a low level.

Finally, Shanghai Upgrade is also trying to solve the expansion problem that the Ethereum community is most concerned about. However, the highly anticipated EIP-44888 and EIP-4844 (also known as pro dunsharding) have not yet been officially included in the Shanghai Upgrade.

As for the time of this important upgrade, the official website of Ethereum Foundation mentioned that:

"After the Shanghai upgrade (planned to be a few months after the merger), the pledgers will be able to withdraw rewards and funds from their verifier balances."

Although there is no specific date, we expect this upgrade will be carried out in Q1 next year.

(Figure 4: New roadmap of Ethereum, picture from Vitalik)

As for what Vitalik mentioned The Surge 、The Verge、The Purge、The Splurge These four new stages are relatively far from the present, and even this road map may continue to change in the future, so we will not discuss them here.

Viewpoint: Application determines the future

In fact, in my opinion, both PoW and PoS will have opportunities to succeed.

For example, Bitcoin is the most decentralized (anti censorship) blockchain network, and decentralization and anti censorship are its products. For example, BTC as a "digital gold" application, and the PoS ecosystem of Cosmos will try to use Bitcoin's PoW network as the data availability layer.

In the next few years, a large number of games, social networking, "DeFi" and other applications promoted by VCs may attract a large number of mainstream groups into the Crypto circle. They may not be so concerned about decentralization and review, but simply be attracted by applications. Therefore, a large number of users will pay for these less decentralized applications, These apps will pay for L2, and L2 will pay for L1.

(Figure 5: Focused Web3 applications are more easily accepted by mainstream people, and images are generated through imgflip)

Therefore, if you pay special attention to decentralization and anti censorship, you can only focus on Bitcoin. However, if you want to explore more possibilities, PoS chains such as Ethereum will also have significance and value. In the short term, they may attract more mainstream people.