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The New ETH Roadmap Section Reveal

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Jan 11, 2023
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5 min read
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This blog post will cover:

  • Details of The Scourge
  • Other stages of the ETH roadmap

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin recently tweeted about an important update in regard to the switch of the Ethereum network to the “Consensus Layer”. The transformation, which has been ongoing for quite a long time, has made the most popular general purpose blockchain a PoS ecosystem instead of a PoW one. 

Vitalik has revealed a new, previously unexpected section in the Ethereum 2.0 development roadmap, which he called The Scourge. This increases the number of steps ahead before the blockchain’s renewal will be fully completed. There already existed tracks named The Merge, The Surge, The Verge, The Purge and finally The Splurge. The goal of the new step will be to further ensure the neutrality of transactions and make the new network less centralized.

Details of The Scourge

More and more news has been heard recently about miners utilizing MEV (Mine Extractable Value) and changing the order of transaction confirmations in a way that maximizes their profits. This hurts other users and the network alike, as the order of transaction confirmations become arbitrary as more miners use MEV. 

The aim of the newly announced roadmap point is to ensure that the consensus layer remains neutral, and any MEV exploits are as hard to perform as possible, essentially making it not worth it. This will not only protect the average miners, who probably do not know much about these harmful actions, but also help prevent centralization. Problems around these two factors have become more prevalent after replacing the more obsolete, slower, but in some regard safer Proof of Work mechanism with the faster, but newer and less refined Proof of Stake to verify transactions. Read this article to explore the difference between two consensus algorithms mentioned above.

Other stages of the ETH roadmap

The Merge was finally completed this September, almost a year later than originally anticipated. This means that we are currently in The Surge, which will be followed by the newly announced Scourge. The Verge, Purge and Splurge will come later. 

If you find the roadmap hard to follow, you are not alone. Many people, including experts who have been following the ETH roadmap from the beginning — when it was first branded as the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade — have criticized Vitalik due to the countless changes in key steps of development, the unconventional naming of basically everything related to the development and the constantly changing and almost never fulfilled target dates. However, it is noticeable that Vitalik does care about his product. You can even find him arguing about Cointelegraph’s mistake of calling sections with the wrong term:

The goal of The Surge section is to get to 100,000 transactions per second on the blockchain. Previously this would have been impossible with the POW algorithm. For comparison, the Bitcoin network, which insists on not breaking away from Proof of Stake verification, can do around 7 transactions per second. Although many claim that BTC is more of a strategic asset than a virtual currency now, so the low TPS is no longer relevant.

After the Surge and Scourge will be completed, The Verge will begin. The main goal of this development section will be to further simplify the validation of transactions, without compromising the security and reliability of the blockchain. Vitalik is hoping to achieve this using the SNARK method, which relies on complex mathematical principles. When exactly will the Verge start or end, is still unclear.

The fifth section is called The Purge for a good reason. The sole aim of this stage is to basically clear up the remaining and no longer necessary parts of the old blockchain, hence reducing technical debt and lowering the cost of entry for new validators. 

The goal of the final step, The Splurge, is to simply “fix everything else”, according to the official roadmap. This will undoubtedly be a very needed, if not the most important development stage, as based on previous experiences. Who knows what further complications and unforeseen problems will arise going forward.

The roadmap for the new Ethereum looks tricky at the first glance, but we’ve tried to explain the basic ideas in this article. What will happen to the Ethereum network next? Time will tell. However, the show must go on, and Vitalik realizes that without the regular updates it will be tough to support the popularity (and cost) of ETH.

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