There is talk about The Merge, The Flippening, PoW, PoS, ETH2, and a lot of new concepts that can be hard to follow for those outside the crypto space.

Let's go with a thread to explain what these mean and how they are related, and why they are important for crypto 🧵
Let's start with PoW, or Proof of Work. PoW is an integral part of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many other chains. As a consensus algorithm, it's what allows everyone to agree on what data is on the blockchain.
For those of you who want to dig deeper, you can read about PoW directly on Satoshi's original Bitcoin paper.
It's clearly explained, and does not require much of a background to understand! 
At its core, PoW is a proof that a *very* difficult computation was solved. So difficult that it sometimes requires specialized hardware, and a lot of energy to power it.

Attempting to solve this computation is what its known as *mining*.
Most of the critiques today towards cryptocurrencies are based on their environmental impact. But at the end of the day, these critiques are actually about PoW, not crypto in itself.
It also leads to hackers abusing whatever computing power they can find to turn CPU cycles into crypto, since mining is incentivized by the network via miner rewards.
But there are alternatives to PoW. And here is where PoS, or Proof of Stake comes in.

In PoS, instead of having to solve a complex computation, you place a deposit in advance and participate as a block producer.
Instead of having to buy hardware to burn electricity to solve a proof of work, you just need to lock certain funds in advance as deposit.
You will get rewards as well, but without high energy consumption - unless you try to do funny stuff, in which case you get slashed 🪓
There are several networks that work with PoS today, but the major ones still operate under PoW, which has been running for a longer time.

That is, until The Merge.
Ethereum core devs have been working in Eth2.0 for several years.

Eth2.0 is a full rearchitecture of Ethereum, with the goals of increased scalability (ie more transactions per second!) and switching from PoW to PoS, among others. 
How far away in the future is Eth2.0, you may ask?

Well, Eth2.0 is already live! But it's being rolled out in phases. The first phase is just checking that PoS works, and anyone with 32ETH can participate as a validator.

There are 130k validators at it!
The plan is then for Ethereum to be *merged* into Eth2.0, so it can switch from PoW to PoS, and stop requiring miner hardware to operate.

It's expected to happen early next year! 
Another consequence of The Merge is that sell pressure for ETH is expected to drop.

Miners in PoW need to sell ETH as they gain it to pay their electricity bills, but this does not happen in PoS. If less people sell, price is expected to go up.
The expectation is that this increase in value will lead to The Flippening: when Ethereum willl surpass Bitcoin as the dominant cryptocurrency. 
The Flippening is connected to The Merge not just because the latter can lead to the former, but also because a flippening after the merge would mean that the dominant cryptocurrency is no longer a cause for enviromental concern.
And this is why I'm betting on Ethereum. Not financially, but with my day-to-day work.
I'm confident that the work we are doing on it can lead to a better crypto landscape for all.
You can follow @smpalladino.
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