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Vitalik Buterin Defends Ethereum’s Decision to Switch to PoS Amid Criticism

The centralized nature and high cost of ASICs were some of the reasons Ethereum switched from PoW to PoS, according to Buterin.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has defended the network’s move from the Proof of Work (PoW) to the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. In a tweet on Friday, he noted that part of the reason why Ethereum made the switch was because POW was “quite centralized.”

The X tweet came in response to a user’s criticism of Ethereum’s consensus switch. According to the user’s tweet, many Ethereum community members were privately expressing their regrets about the transition to PoS.

In an event termed the Merge, the Ethereum network moved from PoW to PoS on September 15, 2022. The aim was to transcend to a much faster and more energy-friendly blockchain mechanism.

Buterin Defends Decision

The Ethereum boss shared a picture showing the network’s mining distribution before its switch to the PoS. In the picture, Spark Pool clearly dominated the mining process in the blockchain, controlling over 33% of Ether mined during the PoW consensus.

Buterin also stated that the network avoided application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) because the transition to PoS would mean there would be no funds to build the computers. ASIC miners are special computers built solely for mining cryptocurrencies. The ASIC processor is explicitly constructed to solve mathematical algorithms meant to produce new coins.

Due to these properties, the ASICs were generally expensive and complex. However, the processor’s ease of mining made it fast and less energy-consuming.

Centralized PoW?

The issue of how centralized the PoW is is not new in the crypto sector, and for Buterin, it was just a temporary phase to the more decentralized PoS. Research has shown that the Proof of Work consensus is considered centralized due to its nature of operation.

In PoW, miners with the highest computing power (usually measured in hashrate) are the most likely to solve the sequence of mathematical puzzles to create a block of the blockchain. Since this is the case, miners tend to purchase faster, more advanced processors to get the technical advantage, creating further setbacks of high energy consumption for the consensus mechanism.

However, the higher security and widespread adoption of the PoW mechanism seem to be the attraction for the aggrieved members of the Ethereum community. Bitcoin, for instance, which uses the PoW consensus, has remained secure and received better adoption than the Ethereum network.

Elendu Benedict

Elendu Benedict is a professional writer with sheer competence in crypto-related journalism. With a background in Engineering, Benedict specialises on news related to ETFs, market analysis, and macroeconomic policies that affects the crypto market.