Tim Beiko on the future of EthereumApr 11, 2022
At a high level, what we want to do here is move Ethereum from using a Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm to using a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm,"
In fact, many people aren't aware that Ethereum has had an active PoS chain called the Beacon Chain for over a year now."
"Today, that chain runs the entire PoS algorithm. And it does process blocks of data, but only those that do not contain end-user transactions. These blocks contain data on things like governance (who voted for what), new deposits, accounts being deleted, et cetera -- but they do not contain data on things like Uniswap trades, for example."
"The reason for this is when PoS launched, Ethereum was already a massive network with tons of usage. We wanted to be sure that if there was an issue with the new algorithm, it wouldn't affect the applications that run on the network. That's why the Beacon Chain was launched in parallel to the mainnet. And so far, we've kept the legacy PoW algorithm running on the main application chain because it has worked since the network began."
But in spring of last year, we became fairly confident that we were ready to use the PoS algorithm we've developed as the main driver for consensus on the network. Since then, there has been a lot of research done to ensure that the transition to PoS will go smoothly."
"One interesting insight that has come from that research is that the applications that run on the Ethereum network don't need PoW to operate. You can run them with other consensus algorithms -- and not just PoS: we have different test nets that run various consensus algorithms, including Proof of Authority and others."
This proves, for example, that people can run applications on private networks with their own custom consensus algorithms."