When asked to evaluate Ethereum’s development progress, Vitalik Buterin stated that “we are 50% of the way there”.
Merge and Surge
With the London Hard Fork now activated, the next milestone for Ethereum will be the “Merge”, which will ultimately switch off Proof of Work mining and transition the whole smart contract platform to a Proof of Stake consensus model. In the most recent episode of the Bankless podcast, Buterin stated that the Merge is set to take place in the first half of 2022.
The next step called the “Surge” will increase Ethereum’s scalability through zk-Rollups. According to Buterin, Ethereum’s development will be 80% complete once this step is taken.
Ethereum’s roadmap looks ahead six years
The remaining 20% of the development work will take place over the next six years. This will enable more users to run validator nodes (“Verge”), eliminate historical data overhead (“Purge”) and finally add incremental improvements to the Ethereum protocol (“Splurge”).
Happy birthday beacon chain!
Here's an updated roadmap diagram for where Ethereum protocol development is at and what's coming in what order.
(I'm sure this is missing a lot, as all diagrams are, but it covers a lot of the important stuff!) pic.twitter.com/puWP7hwDlx
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 2, 2021
Last month, Buterin also published a blog article titled “Endgame”, which tries to make a prediction about what happens when blockchains become too large for decentralization. According to the article, the likely solution would be to have centralized block producers, while keeping block validation decentralized.