The Chainlink protocol will continue operations on Ethereum after the upcoming Merge to the proof-of-stake consensus layer.
Chainlink is aligning itself with the decision of the Ethereum Foundation and its community. Therefore forked versions of the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, which includes PoW forks, will no longer be supported by the Chainlink (LINK) protocol post-Merge.
In an official announcement, the Chainlink protocol revealed its services will remain on the Ethereum blockchain post the long-awaited Merge. The Ethereum blockchain anticipates the Merge in September 2022, which will merge its mainnet with the Beacon Chain.
This will transition all of Ethereum operations from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
The Merge has been pushed back from mid-2021 to September 2022 before. If it goes according to the timeline of developers, Phase 1 will initiate the transition of the ecosystem’s transaction history and smart contracts on the PoS network.
This transition will affect all smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, which in Q1 of 2022 totaled 1.45 million. Chainlink’s role in providing hybrid smart contract services is no exception.
Therefore, in the latest announcement, Chainlink urged its users to prepare their smart contract operations accordingly to avoid future mishaps during and after the implementation of PoS.
The Ethereum Merge is a major milestone in the crypto industry. The transition from PoW to PoS has been a key talking point in the community as a solution toward sustainability, scalability and enhanced decentralization.
According to Ethereum’s official website, the network’s energy consumption will be reduced by ~99.5% once operating on PoS. Previously Ethereum’s total energy consumption has been likened to that of the entire country of the Netherlands, according to the official website.
However, critics of such a protocol switch say that PoS is less secure, therefore more susceptible to security breaches.
Currently, major networks such as Cardano, Avalanche, Polkadot and Solana all operate through proof of stake blockchains.