The Merge, Ethereum’s highly anticipated upgrade to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism is almost here.
Given Polygon’s deep ties with Ethereum, many speculate what this transition could mean for the Layer 2 solution.
According to a press release from Polygon, the blockchain will not suffer any impactful changes after Ethereum’s merge.
Existing Polygon Ethereum-based smart contracts won’t be impacted by the integration. Meanwhile, deposits and transactions on Polygon Bridge (the cross-chain transaction channel between Polygon and Ethereum) will take longer than expected during the upgrade.
Polygon also reported that transaction costs and fees will not change after the merge.
One thing that will in fact change, is the blockchain’s environmental impact. After the adoption of proof-of-stake consensus, Ethereum mining will be made obsolete.
This means that Polygon and Ethereum’s energy costs will drastically lower by nearly 99%.
Polygon also stated that the blockchain will improve Ethereum’s security against coordinated attacks.
In a proof-of-work (PoW) system, a single miner must have more than 50% of the network’s total mining power in order to counterfeit cryptocurrency.
A layer of social consensus makes a developed PoW system like Bitcoin very hard to attack by allowing other network nodes to identify such an attempt and potentially branch away from the malicious miners.
Similar to miners in PoW systems, validators in PoS systems create blocks proportionate to the number of tokens they own when they validate transactions on the blockchain.
PoS validators have an investment in the form of crypto assets at stake, similar to how miners on PoW systems must use a considerable amount of power to attack the system.
It is extremely rare for an attacker to launch a successful attack unless they simultaneously control at least 51% of the network’s nodes and at least 51% of the blockchain’s staking the tokens.
Will The Merge Make Polygon Obsolete?
A common misconception about the upgrade is that it will affect Ethereum’s speed of transactions. If this was true, Polygon’s scaling solutions would become obsolete.
However, The Merge does not increase network capacity. Instead, it modifies the consensus procedure.
The Merge doesn’t reduce high gas costs or speed up Ethereum, making Polygon still a valid alternative.