Ethereum Merge Opens Debate Over Centralization Issues
  • Stakeholders who fall into the “other” category control 3.65% of the total.
  • The goal of both crypto and Web3 is decentralization.

The Ethereum merge has delivered on many fronts, including the projected decrease in energy consumption and carbon impact of more than 99%. However, experts who sounded the alarm about greater centralization before the changeover continue to worry that just a small group of corporations control the proof-of-stake mechanism that now underpins the blockchain.

Martin Köppelmann, cofounder of DeFi platform Gnosis tweeted:

“[The] top 7 entities controlling >2/3 of the stake is pretty disappointing to see tbh.”

He published a graph that showed how Lido, an Ethereum staking service, was responsible for more than 27 percent of stake-based Ethereum validation, with Coinbase coming in second at more over 14 percent.

Centralization Vs Decentralization

A recent research by Dune Analytics confirmed that Lido and Coinbase are the two biggest holders of Ethereum, each with 4.16 million ETH (30.1%). Stakeholders who fall into the “other” category control 3.65% of the total, or 3.65 million ETH.

The goal of both crypto and Web3 is decentralization. Bitcoin’s sufficient decentralization is a key reason why it has avoided scrutiny from U.S. authorities.

Security experts have warned that a “51 percent attack” might pose a real threat. Specifically to Ethereum if validation participation were to grow too concentrated. Furthermore, powerful parties may feel compelled to filter blockchain transactions. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has said that such a situation would cause Coinbase to exit the staking industry.

A blockchain network can be economically mined via proof-of-work, but proof-of-stake relies more on users purchasing, retaining, and staking huge sums of the network’s money. The merger has been criticized by those who fear it would lead to more centralization.

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