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The Merge is the most critical update in the history of Ethereum. Here are the five most prevalent misunderstandings.
The enthusiasm around Ethereum's planned upgrade, The Merge, which includes the combination of two blockchains — mainnet Ethereum and Beacon Chain — has inadvertently given rise to misinformation throughout the community.
The Merge marks the end of proof-of-work (PoW) for the Ethereum blockchain and has been dubbed the most significant update in the history of Ethereum. Nonetheless, the following five misunderstandings stand out from the others.
One of the most widespread among investors is that Ethereum’s imminent upgrade would cut its famed gas prices (transaction fees). The Merge is a consensus mechanism modification that will move the Ethereum blockchain from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (proof-of-stake), while lower gas fees are every investor’s top demand (PoS).
To reduce Ethereum gas prices, it will be necessary to increase network capacity and throughput. The developer community is actively working on a rollup-centric road map to make transactions cheaper.
It is reasonable to believe that Ethereum transactions will not be significantly quicker. However, there is some truth to this claim, as Beacon Chain permits validators to publish a block every 12 seconds, or around 13.3 seconds on the mainnet.
Developers of Ethereum think that switching to PoS will increase block creation by 10%, but consumers will be oblivious to this marginal gain.
In contrast to the misunderstandings that predict favorable effects for Ethereum from The Merge, a prevalent urban legend claims that the planned update would suddenly bring the Ethereum blockchain to a halt.
The developers do not foresee downtime from PoW to PoS block generation.
The Staked ETH (stETH) coin, backed 1:1 by Ether (ETH), is presently locked on the Beacon Chain. The development community has verified that the upgrade does not enable users to withdraw their stETH holdings, even though they would want to be able to do so.
Withdrawal of stETH holdings will be enabled following the Shanghai upgrade, the next major update after The Merge. Consequently, the assets will be immobilized and illiquid for at least 6 to 12 months following the merger.
While stETH remains unavailable to investors until the Shangai upgrade is implemented, validators will have instant access to the fee rewards and maximum extractable value (MEV) earned during block proposals on the execution layer or Ethereum mainnet.
As the fee reimbursement will not be freshly minted coins, the validator will have immediate access to it.
Polygon co-founder Mihailo Bjelic told Cointelegraph that zkEVM Rollups, a new scaling solution for Ethereum, will enable the smart contract protocol to outperform Visa in transaction throughput. Bjelic was discussing Ethereum’s untapped potential.
Polygon’s other co-founder, Sandeep Nailwal, shared Bjelic’s sentiments as he envisioned the proposed solution slashing Ethereum transaction fees by 90% and raising transaction throughput to 40–50 transactions per second.