As the Ethereum community prepares for the highly-anticipated Shanghai upgrade in March 2023, others look ahead to the future of Ethereum’s roadmap. This begs the question, what is the Ethereum framework and how does it operate?

Ethereum is a decentralized open-source blockchain network that enables users to make transactions and trades, stake tokens, play games, and utilize NFTs. Transactions are verified on the blockchain through smart contacts, removing the need for a third party.

Ethereum is currently the second largest cryptocurrency and was co-created by Vitalik Buterin in 2013. Ethereum is one singular decentralized system that runs the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) where each node holds a copy of each of the thousand computers that exist in the Ethereum network. 

All Ethereum transactions are public, which are added onto everyone’s copy of the ledger once the miner broadcasts the transaction. Miners are paid to complete transactions in the fees that come with each transaction called “gas” fees.
In September 2022, Ethereum launched The Merge, a software upgrade that swapped the platform’s consensus mechanism from a proof-of-work protocol to a proof-of-stake system to reduce its energy usage.

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