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What to know about Ethereum Altair upgrade and proof of stake


Altair, an important upgrade to the Ethereum network, went live on Wednesday.

Its immediate impact might only be noticeable to validators, or those who verify transactions on Ethereum. But Altair is one of the pivotal upgrades for Ethereum 2.0, or Eth2, and investors should be aware. Eth2 will change the Ethereum infrastructure, ultimately making mining obsolete.

Currently, Ethereum operates on a proof of work (PoW) model, where miners must compete to solve complex puzzles in order to validate transactions. This model gets a lot of criticism due its environmental impact, as it requires an extreme amount of computer power.

In 2022, Ethereum plans to shift to a proof of stake (PoS) model, where users can only validate transactions according to how many coins they hold.

PoS will no longer require the energy of PoW, reducing the environmental impact of Ethereum by 99%, Tim Beiko, the coordinator for Ethereum’s protocol developers, tells CNBC Make It. Though the full migration to PoS won’t happen in the short-term, Altair is an important “step closer” to it, Beiko says.

Why the Altair upgrade matters

Ethereum 2.0



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