What Can We Expect From Ethereum 2.0?

By Aleksandra Wilson
3 min read September 20, 2021

The Background

Like Bitcoin, Ethereum uses “mining” to make and distribute new coins; Ethereum 2.0 will come to end that. The people worldwide who make mining possible, a.k.a. miners, work with equipment worth millions of dollars. Miners require sophisticated machinery to have a real chance in the race of solving mathematical problems to earn ETH. The process has become a concern due to its energy-intensive consumption and its impact on the environment. But apparently, this won’t be a concern for much longer. Next year Ethereum will go under a significant upgrade that will change how it operates and how its coins are minted. So, mining Ethereum as we know it will become only a part of history. 

What is Ethereum 2.0?

Ethereum 2.0 is a set of upgrades that are interconnected, planned, and designed to help it become more scalable, sustainable, and way more secure. Several teams within the community have been working on building the upgrades necessary to make this happen.

From PoW to PoS

Since the beginning of Bitcoin, proof of work has been the concept used to make decentralized networks safer for money transactions. In 2015, when Ethereum was launched, they adopted the same protocol. In simple terms, PoW is the algorithm, and mining is the action itself, attaching the right blocks to the chain. Now that the teams have been putting effort into changing the protocol from PoW to PoS since it requires remarkably less electricity. Another advantage of it is that it will also enable a much larger volume of transactions. It will be more secure since attacks can be prevented from happening. Finally, mining will be completely turned off when the PoW and PoS chains are merged, and Ethereum 2.0 is all in. According to Tim Beiko, Ethereum developer, this can possibly happen before next year ends. 

What Will Happen to the Miners After That?

Experts say it will not be such a big problem; once the merge has been completed, they believe that miners will go for either one of two easy choices. Once Ethereum 2.0 starts operating entirely, there will be divided opinions about which way to go. The most obvious options are Ravencoin with a market cap of $436 million and Ethereum Classic with $4.7 billion. Another significant change is the way miners get paid; no more transaction fees will go to them, only the newly minted coin as a reward. Although not all of them will endure, those who will keep mining ETH will have it  since they will become easier to obtain.

Are People Ready for This?

If it’s true that the news about Ethereum 2.0 is a matter of public domain, not everybody involved has done something about it. Some might have done more or even better than others to prepare for the change. It’s also true that some pools have stated their position against the merge, which also impacts the general opinion of the public, traders or not. If Ethereum 2.0 can deliver all that has been promised, it’s still yet to be seen. Although one thing is for sure, if they succeed, this will imply an astronomical jump for the protocol that could potentially cause a chain reaction with other protocols of the exact nature, but what would happen with the PoW protocols? That is still left to be determined.

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