Ethereum’s long-awaited consensus switch from PoW to PoS is likely to be a few months away. Originally, the merger of the current Ethereum blockchain with the proof-of-stake-based Beacon Chain had been scheduled for June, but is now being postponed. Ethereum developer Tim Beiko has now announced this in a tweet: “It won’t be in June, but probably in the months after. There is no firm date yet, but we are definitely in the final chapter of PoW on Ethereum,” Beiko said.
The biggest advantage of switching from the previous proof-of-work process to proof-of-stake is definitely the enormous saving of energy – there is talk of 99.9 percent energy savings.
But not everyone is enthusiastic about this: while Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen supports an advertising campaign for a greener Bitcoin and calls for Bitcoins to no longer be generated via Proof-of-Work mining, which is considered secure but very energy-intensive, and to use the much more environmentally friendly Proof-of-Stake process instead, Bitcoin investors reject this idea by a majority.
Security vs. energy saving
The Bitcoin camp sees a switch from PoW to PoS as “extremely risky, completely impractical, perhaps even pointless”, according to David Morris in a “CoinDesk” article. It is feared that such a fundamental change would probably not be realisable through a conventional “hard fork”.
It is countered that the proof-of-stake infrastructure runs through a completely different security architecture, which means that adapting the method would also involve a complex change from old wallets to a completely new network.
This is precisely the crux of the matter: such a comprehensive and risky programme change may be classified as extremely unlikely. And with Chris Larsen, the messenger also becomes a target: he is controversial in the scene and therefore his message is not very credible.
Bitcoin fans suspect that he has aimed his entire crypto career at harming bitcoin. In addition, there is the insinuation that Larsen deliberately wanted to bring about a “hard fork” in order to divide and thus weaken the Bitcoin community, especially since the world’s largest reserve currency can score with enormous network effects thanks to its international acceptance and security.
Eliminate an unwanted competitor? A well-known and understandable motive, which Larsen, however, refuses to accept: In a “Bloomberg” interview he said: “If I were worried about Bitcoin as a competitor, probably the best thing I could do would be to let it continue that way … It’s just an unsustainable path.”