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Ethereum is known as the first smart contract platform, which was released in 2015 and has been favored by developers, users and investors ever since. Despite the fact that the interest in Ethereum has been very big for years, and the technology is widely used, the platform is far from finished.
Vitalik Buterin, the founder and CEO of Ethereum, indicated during the EthCC event that Ethereum is currently only 40% complete. So, there is still a long way to go. During the same event, the CEO discussed what steps still need to be taken to complete the project, creating a kind of ‘Ethereum roadmap’.
The roadmap consists of five parts in total. In this article you can discover what the Ethereum roadmap looks like and what it means for the investors, developers and users of the Ethereum blockchain.
Where Bitcoin is seen as the coat rack of the crypto market, where all altcoins act as coats, you can say that Ethereum has a similar role. The Ethereum blockchain is seen as the foundation of a new kind of internet.
Ethereum is the basis for both decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts, which can be created on the Ethereum blockchain. Thanks to blockchain technology, developing or creating these applications is a lot safer and more transparent, which is partly due to the fact that Vitalik Buterin’s project is an open-source blockchain protocol.
If you want to create a dApp or smart contract on the Ethereum network yourself, you will need to understand the necessary programming. To program on Ethereum, you will have to discover the Ethereum programming language. This programming language is called Solidity and is labeled as a simple way to create dApps or smart contracts.
At the moment (August 2022), Ethereum still uses the Proof-of-Work (PoW) system, where computers are used to keep the network safe. For this bet, these miners are rewarded in the form of ETH, the coin of Ethereum.
The goal of Ethereum is to switch to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system by September 15th 2022, where computers no longer have to mine, but the stake of Ethereum is important. This method is seen as a sustainable alternative, which is better for the environment.
The key man at Ethereum is Vitalik Buterin. He is the founder and CEO of Ethereum, and saw the enormous potential of his project years ago. What is a remarkable fact, however, is that he has made it known in the past that the Ethereum blockchain does not take NFTs into account.
Who knows, we may encounter similar moments in the future, when a completely new market emerges and the Ethereum roadmap turns out not to be completely finished. For now, the focus is on five different parts, which Buterin announced during the EthCC.
EthCC stands for Ethereum Community Conference, and was held in France. Here Buterin talked about the roadmap and also the different names he gave to the parts. All names look alike and rhyme with each other. So, it can be difficult to remember all the names in order.
Buterin indicated that the Ethereum protocol was only 40% finished, but that The Merge will lead to 55%. When The Merge is complete, the CEO believes the project is 15% further along. So, The Merge has quite an impact on Ethereum, but what exactly is it?
The Merge is an amalgamation of the Beacon Chain and the traditional blockchain of Ethereum, or the mainnet of Ethereum. This merger is an important development for the Ethereum community, as this move has been in the works for years. When The Merge fails, years of money and development have been wasted.
The merger of the mainnet and the Beacon Chain also means that Ethereum is making the move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). A unique moment, which has never been seen before in the crypto world.
My colleague Matt previously wrote a blog about The Merge, which you can discover via this link. Here Matt goes deeper into The Merge and also what the consequences of this development are.
Along with the high transaction costs, scalability is an important issue with Ethereum. Many investors and users are switching to other blockchain platforms because they are less affected by these problems. However, with The Surge, this may change in the future.
During The Surge, the second part of the Ethereum roadmap, sharding is added. Sharding means that the network is divided into several pieces, which makes it easier to manage the network. A consequence of The Surge is that rollups will become a lot cheaper. Nodes will also be easier to manage.
When the developments around the Ethereum protocol are halfway through, the protocol will be located at The Verge section. In this step, the focus is on the nodes and the validators. These aspects are an important part of blockchain technology.
The adaptation made at The Verge is called “Verkle Trees” by Buterin. This reduces the size of the node and makes Ethereum more scalable. This makes it possible to become a validator of the network, while you will not have to store large amounts of data.
Ethereum is seen as a centralized platform, but with The Verge this is about to change. Buterin himself calls this step a good step for the decentralization of the Ethereum protocol.
Often projects that have decentralized plans start as a central project. When the project grows and decentralization is more feasible, this will also be applied. Since the emergence of cryptocurrencies, decentralization has been one of the spearheads that Ethereum has not lost sight of
With the fourth strand of Ethereum’s future plans, the end seems to be in sight. This part is called The Purge. This part addresses the network history on the platform. This will purify the old data, which should ensure a better working protocol.
Buterin said that The Purge simplifies the protocol, because nodes do not have to store history. As a result, the nodes have more free space on the hard disk, because the protocol simply requires less from the hard disk.
The fifth and final part of the Ethereum roadmap is called The Splurge. By the time the team gets to this step, most of the work has already been done and major milestones have been reached. Now it’s time for work, which Buterin calls ‘fun stuff’.
This part of the plans is intended for various minor updates and maintenance. These updates and maintenance allow Ethereum’s smart contract platform to stay up and running and the roadmap is complete.
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