The Compromises and Benefits of Ethereum Switching to a Proof-of-Stake Network

Source: Adobe/Dan74

Max Shannon, Digital Asset Analyst at major European digital asset investment firm CoinShares.


Ethereum has an Evolving but Structured Roadmap of Protocol Changes.

Before its launch in 2015, Ethereum developers already had a stated ambition to replace its Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism with an alternative one: Proof-of-Stake (PoS). While it was deemed too technically risky to start the network with anything other than PoW, the eventual migration to PoS has been a major development goal of Ethereum developers and a highly anticipated milestone on their roadmap.

The migration to PoS is considered to be an extremely important milestone because developers regard it as a key prerequisite for several subsequent development goals, and because the Ethereum community believes the reduction in energy usage is worth the trade-offs in protocol attributes it generates.

Though subject to some changes, the development roadmap itself predates the launch of Ethereum and has existed since the network was only in its testnet phase. Many of the changes described in the evolving roadmap have already been implemented, but the migration to PoS, one of the most challenging and involved modifications, has yet to be completed and is now delayed.