We are on the verge of the monumental Ethereum merge upgrade. In fact, this moment is so big that Google has deployed a special Merge countdown!
We have talked about the Merge extensively before here and here. Today, let’s focus on the road Ethereum has traveled so far. We will look back at some of the most important moments in its short but eventful history.
Detailed Ethereum timeline
November 27, 2013
Vitalik Buterin had previously founded Bitcoin Magazine – one of the more popular crypto media outlets. He believed that the blockchain could be more programmable than being a mere facilitator of payments. This idea bloomed into Ethereum – a decentralized supercomputer where anyone can rent resources to power their decentralized applications. On November 27, 2013 – Vitalik Buterin published the Ethereum whitepaper and registered the ethereum.org domain.
July 22, 2014
The pre-2017 crypto world was dominated by ICOs or Initial Coin Offering – a crypto fundraiser. Which majority of the ICOs happened on Ethereum. Many people forget that Ethereum had its own ICO in July 2014. Ethereum raised $18 million in 42 days. Of course, this number is minuscule compared to the amount other projects have raised. This shows that a project shouldn’t necessarily be judged by the amount of money it raises.
July 30, 2015
Ethereum officially launched this day. The version of Ethereum that was launched was called “Frontier.” Ethereum was originally supposed to launch in the following four phases – Frontier, Homestead, Metropolis, and Serenity (aka Ethereum 2.0). Of course, these phases have been further subdivided into multiple forks.
July 20, 2016
Almost a year after its launch, Ethereum faced its biggest crisis yet – the DAO hack. The DAO was supposed to be the first revolutionary application on Ethereum, which would create a decentralized venture fund. Unfortunately, a vulnerability in its smart contract enabled a hacker to steal 3.6 million ETH. To circumvent this hack, Ethereum proposed a hard fork, which ultimately led to the community getting split between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
October 16, 2017
The most significant update of the “Ethereum 1.0 era” was the Metropolis fork, further divided into Byzantium, Constantinople, and Istanbul forks. During Metropolis, Ethereum’s network functionality increased to promote dApp creation and boost network utility.
December 1, 2020
The path towards proof-of-stake officially began. The beacon chain (aka the Ethereum PoS chain) started mining blocks. On November 27, 2020, the beacon chain received the required 16384 deposits of 32 staked ETH for it to start operating. During the Merge, this beacon chain would combine or “merge” with the original Ethereum chain to usher in proof-of-stake.
As of now, the beacon chain has 426,792 active validators and 13,657,228 staked ETH.
August 5, 2021
Prior to the Merge, the last important Ethereum upgrade was the London fork which introduced the EIP-1559 to the network and made ETH’s tokenomics deflationary. In addition, EIP-1559 introduced a burning mechanism that burned most of ETH’s transaction fees. We have covered EIP-1559 before, which you can read here.
Conclusion: September 2022
We are just hours away from the monumental Ethereum Merge. This is the single biggest update that Ethereum has had since the DAO fork. The timeline here shows you the journey the protocol has been through ever since its launch. If you want to know more about Ethereum, then read this.