The leading smart contract network in the world, Ethereum, seems to play a crucial role in shaping the future of web3. Its upgrade roadmap appears to have various stages that will solidify Ethereum’s position as the foundation of the next iteration of the internet. While it may take a few years for the final version of Ethereum’s plan to emerge, it is shaping up to have a significant impact on the internet as it continues to develop.
On September 6, Web3 developer Stacy Muur provided a detailed introduction to Ethereum’s roadmap and its role in the next milestone of the internet.
We define Web3 as a decentralized internet where users own and control their data and identities. In contrast, search and social media companies dominate Web2, the current version, by profiting from the collection of user data.
Merge was arguably the most significant upgrade since the network’s launch in 2015. However, there are more important milestones ahead. The next major step, “The Surge,” could herald scalability improvements that begin with the introduction of Proto-Danksharding. Muur noted that this ensures sufficient data availability for aggregation networks.
Proto-Danksharding will be introduced with EIP-4844, expected in the fourth quarter of 2023, minimizing operational costs associated with rollups and layer-2 networks. Subsequently, “The Scourge” will provide upgrades that prioritize resistance to censorship, decentralization, and protocol risks related to MEV (Maximum Extractable Value).
‘The Verge’ will enable the transition from Merkle Trees to Verkle Trees, facilitating easier and streamlined block verification. This will eliminate the need for validating nodes to maintain a full copy of Ethereum’s state. Muur explained that ‘The Purge’ is a simplification of the protocol by reducing historical data storage and eliminating technical debt.
The final stage, ‘The Splurge,’ will address all remaining issues. This stage will include previously unaddressed upgrades such as Account Abstraction, Verifiable Delay Functions, and improvements to the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine).
Several ‘Ethereum killers,’ such as Solana and Base, have been created to increase efficiency at the expense of reliability. However, Ethereum adopts a slow and steady approach to its upgrade roadmap, but it will eventually get there. These upgrades will transform Ethereum into the decentralized financial layer of the future internet.
Despite the roadmap, ETH prices continue to stagnate. The asset has shown very little movement in the past few days and is currently trading around $1,635 at the time of writing this article. Furthermore, Ethereum is still 66.4% lower than its peak price of $4,878 almost two years ago.