Ethereum in currently the queen of the cryptocurrency world, second only to Bitcoin in total market cap. With an ever-growing market share of the cryptocurrency space, Ethereum has taken its place as the most dominant modern cryptocurrency network, becoming the foundation for a numerous amount of other blockchain projects, development protocols, and all kinds of new, innovative technologies.
Since the creation of Ethereum in 2013 and the launch of the network in 2015, Ethereum has grown in size exponentially and is still growing today. In recent weeks, Ethereum has undergone a meteoric rise of over 90% in a month up from $2100 USD in mid-April to an all time high of $4300 USD before a sell off brought the price tag back down to the $3250 USD range.
While a pullback was necessary after such as steep rise, Ethereum still has much further to go this bull run should the interest from institutional and cryptocurrency investors continue on. Much of the attention Ethereum is getting is from the announcement of Ethereum 2.0, a future improvement to the entire network that is aiming to make Ethereum more scalable, sustainable, and secure.
Ethereum 2.0 Main Integrations
There are multiple new features that will be brought to the Ethereum network with the launch of Ethereum 2.0. One of these such new features is the integration of staking to Ethereum through The Beacon Chain. The Beacon Chain will be integrated within the Ethereum ecosystem to coordinate the network and introduce proof-of-stake to Ethereum. Through staking, this will allow holders of Ethereum to participate directly in the blockchain through being a validator, someone with the ability to process transactions and create new blocks on the chain.
In addition to the establishment of Beacon, a future merge between the new Beacon Chain and the Ethereum mainnet is scheduled to take place sometime this year (2021). Once this merger takes place, proof-of-stake will officially take over the Ethereum blockchain and proof-of-work will be retired. This merge is necessary to fully bring smart contracts into the proof-of-stake ecosystem.
The final integration of Ethereum 2.0 is the use of Shard Chains. This is response to improve the scalability of the Ethereum network. Shard Chains work by reducing the computing requirements for effectively running a node on the Ethereum network. Sharding is referred to as a process of splitting a database horizontally with the purpose of spreading the load of said data. This will increase the number of available chains, in turn increasing the speed of transactions. This will, most importantly, make the network more easily accessible by anyone who wishes to participate in the network and/or run a node.
The Future of Ethereum
The official launch of Ethereum 2.0 after the full integration of all features by a currently estimated 2022 completion date will mark the new age of Ethereum. ETH2 is extremely important of a number of reasons. Current problems in scalability and sustainability have led to the rise of competitive alternatives to the network in the form of chains like Cardano, Algorand, and Polkadot. The success of ETH2 will determine the cryptocurrency dominance of the Ethereum network moving forward as cryptocurrency continues to extend towards mainstream consumers. Improved scalability and sustainability will not only help Ethereum protect its current market share within the cryptocurrency space, but it will more than likely help expand it. More support will be given to Ethereum should it demonstrate the ability to become a net zero carbon network.
The current estimations for staking on the Ethereum network look to be extremely enticing. While we have to wait for the full integration over the next two years, the information currently available about Ethereum 2.0 shows a promising, bright future for the already largest smart contract supporting blockchain network in the cryptocurrency space. If you are interested in learning more about Ethereum 2.0 or staking on Ethereum, go to their website available here.
This is not financial advice. Do your own due diligence before choosing to invest in anything, including Ethereum