The long-awaited merger of Ethereum with Beacon Chain is complete – here’s what the long-term roadmap looks like for further development of the protocol.

The Ethereum blockchain has successfully completed the transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus following the merger between Mainnet and Beacon Chain.

The merger took place on September 15, when the network seamlessly transitioned to PoS, replacing hardware miners with ether-staking validators.

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to process transactions, add new blocks and protect the network.

The most pressing question in the field of cryptocurrencies: what next? The Ethereum Foundation has always worked on a long roadmap of development milestones and the merger is no different.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin previously described a five-step, incremental process that will take the smart contract blockchain into what he calls the “final phase” of Ethereum.

The ultimate goal is for the network to be able to operate at high frequency and block size, and process thousands of transactions per second, while remaining sufficiently reliable and censorship-resistant.

The merger was the first step in this five-part process that has since been developed by several Ethereum developers, ecosystem contributors, and commenters. The most significant change in the merger is a drastic reduction in power consumption, which reduces Ethereum’s power consumption by 99%.

Hours before the merger took place, Buterin cited Ethereum researcher Justin Drake’s prediction that the event would also reduce global electricity consumption by 0.2%.

The second major change brought about by the move to PoS is the reduction of ETH issuance by rewarding validators for their work to maintain the network, making ETH a deflationary asset.

2023 is set to be the year when Ethereum will implement sharding, an important step in increasing the scalability of the blockchain’s ability to store and access data.

The Ethereum Foundation defines sharding as the process of horizontally partitioning a database to distribute the network workload. Ethereum will share massive amounts of data across the network using sharding in synergy with Tier 2 aggregations.

The purpose of this is to reduce network congestion and increase the number of transactions per second. It is a decentralized alternative to expanding the database and eliminates the need for validators to store all data on the network, which would require powerful hardware.

It also means that the average user can run an Ethereum node or clients on personal devices such as PCs and mobile devices, making the network more reliable due to increased decentralization.

Edge, liquidation and demolition
The final three steps in Ethereum’s evolution after the merger should happen in the next few years.

Edge is the third part of the current Ethereum roadmap outlined by Buterin. Without going into technical details, this step will involve introducing verkle trees that optimize data storage and node size.

As Buterin explained in a deep dive in June 2021, Verkle trees perform the same function as Merkle trees, which summarize all transactions in a block and provide evidence to the user of the entire dataset who wants to verify their authenticity:

“However, the key feature that Werkle trees provide is that they are much more efficient in terms of sample size.”
Cryptography is a bit more complex, but Buterin stressed that reducing the size of proof data would be enough to make stateless customers eligible.

Cleaning will include deleting unnecessary historical data to reduce network congestion by clearing unnecessary data. This will significantly reduce the amount of data that needs to be stored by the validator as Buterin touts this move and allows the network to process around 100,000 transactions per second.

What else should I know?
As Cointelegraph previously researched, stakeholders who want to become full validators of the Ethereum blockchain must complete

Source: CoinTelegraph