After the Merge, the Surge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge will improve Ethereum’s scalability and security.
Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of the Ethereum blockchain, spoke in Paris. Buterin said ETH would only be 55% complete after the Merge.
The current proof-of-work (PoW) Ethereum mainnet protocol will “merge” with the Beacon Chain proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain technology, and Ethereum will continue as a PoS network.
What’s Ethereum’s future after Merge? Many consider Merge the network’s final chapter. Additionally, Buterin says ETH must overcome “Surge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge.”
Ethereum’s mainnet, or live version, launched on July 30. Consider Ethereum’s future after the Merge.
Ethereum’s Surge Scaling
The “Surge” refers to Ethereum’s implementation of sharding and rollups, which will make the network more extensible (scalable) and easier to operate.
Ethereum sharding will likely happen soon. Sharding is a potential solution for increasing ETH’s network’s scalability. A blockchain can be divided into multiple blockchains to achieve this. With proof-of-stake in place, this becomes less of a challenge. ETH aims to develop a 64-database physically sharded infrastructure.
“Sharding” in computer science makes applications scalable to handle additional data. With Ethereum sharding, users only need to track a portion of database updates.
Danksharding has also attracted post-Merge interest. Many Ethereum enthusiasts have looked to this prototype to help make ETH more scalable. Danksharding uses shards, similar to sharding, to expand storage for linked data sets. Ethereum can handle more data now.
Even though sharding has been around since Ethereum launched in 2013, it’s been in the news because of Paris. In 2023, we will expect its deployment.
The Ethereum community is developing rollups to boost scalability. Rollups conduct transactions outside Ethereum’s foundation layer (layer 1) and subsequently publish the data on layer 1’s blockchain. zkSync and Polygon zkEVM show that ETH’s next phase is closer than many imagined.
Optimistic rollups run on layer 2 networks and presume transactions are valid for a default period before delivering them back to the base layer. Zero-knowledge rollups conduct transactions off-chain and submit proof of validity to the layer 1 network. Since ZK rollups must prove a transaction’s legitimacy, they have computational advantages over Optimistic rollups.
Sharding will possibly begin in 2023, and ZK rollups are on the horizon. As recently as 2017, optimistic rollups were the best choice for scaling Ethereum.
Next, we’ll use Verkle trees to solve scalability. Buterin says Verkle trees “significantly lower Merkle proof volumes.” “Verge” optimises storage efficiency and node footprints. Long-term scalability will improve.
Merkle trees turn data chunks into long code strings for secure encryption. Data leaves are grouped into branches. The Merkle root reflects the whole set of data. This method was tested on Bitcoin and then Ethereum.
Verkle trees enable you to store a lot of data by proving any subset of it quickly and have it validated by someone who only has the tree’s root. This will speed up proofing.
Verkle trees are a novel cryptographic idea that is not widely used. The Surge will address sharding and rollups, affecting Ethereum’s scalability and proofs.
The Purge and Splurge
The Purge removes unused historical data. Proof-of-stake will reduce the amount of historical data needed for validators’ work. This will lower network load, allowing more blockchain transactions. Buterin claimed Ethereum could handle 100,000 transactions per second by this stage’s completion.
Buterin calls the Splurge “the fun thing.” It ensures network stability after implementing protocol changes from previous sections. Hard work will make ETH scalable.
As with every technical advancement, this last step is still far off. Merge took longer than expected, so when Splurge arrives, Ethereum will celebrate.
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