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Since Ethereum first went live in July 2015, developers have stayed the course to improve it consistently. And in comparison to other upgrades over the years, the upcoming phasing in of ETH 2.0 will introduce two significant improvements: Proof of Stake (PoS) and Shard Chains. The shift in the underlying consensus mechanism away from the existing Proof of Work architecture will improve scalability, accessibility, economic incentives, energy efficiency, and lower barriers to entry, amongst other things.

Proof-of-work blockchain networks rely on decentralized mining for consensus and for protection from double-spending. Bad actors may try to gain a large proportion of the network hashpower to engage in what’s known as a 51% Attack. By controlling a majority of hashpower the double-spending protection can be overcome. We review proof-of-work mining and the ways that blockchains can remain safe from 51% attacks.

Most people in today's society have heard of either cryptocurrencies in general, or at least Bitcoin specifically. The crypto market keeps growing, and as of 2020, crypto awareness is arguably bigger than ever before. Along with this surge in public interest, people are also starting to open their eyes to the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The fundamental technology for cryptocurrencies is blockchain, and this is an essential cog in the crypto machine.

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