Speaking at EthCC this week, Vitalik Buterin laid out his vision for Ethereum’s future after The Merge, the move to proof of stake (PoS). The popular smart contract blockchain will have to go through a succession of upgrades, which should bring it to a capacity of 100,000 transactions per second.
Vitalik Buterin clarifies Ethereum’s roadmap
At the fifth edition of the EthCC conference, held this week in Paris, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, took the floor to describe the next steps in the evolution of the network.
As recently announced, the famous Merge, which will mark the transition from proof-of-work (PoW) consensus to proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus, is scheduled to take place on September 19. The Merge is expected to reduce the network’s energy consumption by 99 percent. But according to Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum will then be only 55% complete once this step is achieved. Other major projects, which we will detail, will follow:
- The Surge;
- The Verge;
- The Purge;
- The Slurge.
The Surge, which will be the next big step after The Merge, will see the implementation of sharding. It is expected to arrive in 2023 and will consist of a fragmentation of network operations. This could be illustrated by comparing the upgrade with the arrival of Taylorism in industry in the early twentieth century.
Ethereum will be divided into shards, and each of them will be assigned a specific action for the smooth running of the consensus. Like a production line in a factory, this horizontal division will allow for a considerable increase in productivity. This productivity is symbolized here by the number of transactions per second.
These shards will then relay their information to the main chain, the Beacon Chain, to anchor the blocks in the blockchain.
The Verge, The Purge and The Splurge, three events further down the road
Without getting into big technical details, The Verge will reduce block sizes. At the same time, validators will have less data to store. This is actually an optimization of Merkle trees, the mathematical concept that allows to contain the information of a block in a cryptographic hash.
These new, more powerful functions are called “Verkle trees”. With a smaller storage requirement, it would then be “simpler” to become a validator, which could improve decentralization.
In line with this improvement, The Purge will purge the blockchain of all its excessive data. It will also help to reduce the storage space needed by validators.
All these steps should lead to a drastic reduction in network congestion and it is on these projections that Vitalik Buterin is basing his prediction of an Ethereum with 100 000 transactions per second. Finally, The Splurge will consist of a continuous improvement of all previous updates. This final phase will also verify that the machine is running perfectly.
Of course, if The Merge is close, the rest is further away. However, these are necessary steps to build the great technological revolution that Ethereum represents.