Out In The Open - The Daily Gwei #431
Ethereum's open development is both a blessing and a curse.
When it comes to Ethereum core protocol development, we all know that it can be a slow process - but for good reason! You can’t “move fast and break things” when it comes to core infrastructure for financial products and certainly not when changes are being made to a $350 billion network. Though this does come with it’s drawbacks - namely that major upgrades can take a long time to ship - but they do eventually ship!
EIP-1559 took around 2 and a half years from when it was first proposed to when it went live on the Ethereum mainnet - and it was the most popular EIP in Ethereum’s history. Similarly, Ethereum becoming a Proof of Stake network has been talked about since before the Ethereum Proof of Work network even went live and we’re only just now in sight of it actually happening. Of course, the Beacon Chain has been live for over a year now, but that’s only 1 piece of the overall Proof of Stake puzzle and the Beacon Chain doesn’t really do much for end-users on its own.
Ethereum is often criticized for these long upgrade cycles but I think it’s only because Ethereum development is so publicly chaotic. You can think of the transition to Proof of Stake (aka ‘The Merge’) as a product that has gone through an entire lifecycle (from concept to production) - but done completely out in the open. Now imagine if a company like Apple built one of its new products out in the open and all of the modifications, feature removals, trials & tribulations and more were open for the world to see. I’m sure we would see similar rhetoric with people berating Apple for “failing to deliver promised features” and “taking forever to ship” even though the eventual product tends to change the game.
Of course, there are plenty of other upgrades that go live on Ethereum on a regular basis to little fanfare - from EIPs that benefit smart contract developers to EIPs that reduce the risk of DoS attacks on the network. Though what most people really care about or pay attention to are the upgrades that have a direct effect on ETHs value accrual - and that’s exactly what EIP-1559 and The Merge do - but it’s also what gets promoted to them most. EIP-1559 was talked about to death before it went live whereas most other EIPs may only ever get mentioned as part of core developer talks or debates.
At this point in time, I have absolutely no reason to believe that The Merge won’t be delivered this year. Testnets are being run, the spec is almost ready to be frozen, bugs are being squashed and both client developers & researchers seem very happy with the current overall progress. After 8 years in research and development we are finally mere months away from Ethereum being a full Proof of Stake network - and I for one am incredibly excited.
Have a great weekend everyone,
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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.