At the Ethereum Community Conference held in Paris, France, from July 19-21, 2022, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin outlined the road map that includes several upgrades to make the Ethereum Protocol more powerful, robust, secure, and a more decentralized system.
The much-anticipated Merge in which Ethereum will transition from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake Consensus is now scheduled in September 2022. According to Vitalik, after the September Merge, the Ethereum Protocol will only be about 55% complete and would hence undergo further upgrades, namely; the Surge, the Verge, the Purge, and the Spurge.
By the end of the road map, the Ethereum Protocol is expected to be more scalable, with the ability to process 100,000 transactions per second (tps). Currently, the Ethereum Network processes about 15-20 tps. In comparison, the Bitcoin Network currently processes about five tps whilst Visa processes on average 1,700 tps.
Vitalik Buterin informed the conference participants that though there is a need to improve the Ethereum Protocol’s capabilities continuously, the ideal long-term goal was to reduce the system’s complexity. After a period of rapid change, he would like to see Ethereum “settle down eventually.” Buterin also informed the participants that he would like the developers to take a break and give the new system features time to de-risk. He pointed out that in achieving this longer-term future, the protocol will undergo “short term pain, long term gain” opportunities.
Blockchain developer activity is critical in ensuring that blockchains remain robust and continually meet the users’ needs. According to the 2021 Electric Capital Developer Report, the Ethereum Network was reported to have grown its number of developers by 42% and attracted 20% of the total new Web3 developers. The report pointed out that the Ethereum Network also had the best retention of developers who stayed beyond year 4.
Ethereum price has fluctuated in recent months, dipping to under $1,000 in mid-June 2022 and then surging to over $1,600 in July 2022. Some analysts have attributed the recent surge in price to the confirmation of the September Ethereum Merge event. The flurry of activity around the Ethereum Network could be a silver lining to the relatively subdued crypto markets, whose total market cap has dropped by over 50%, from about US$ 2.3 trillion at the start of 2022 to around US$ 1 trillion at the time of writing (July 2022).