With the Ethereum merge event approaching swiftly, the crypto community continues to buzz and discuss what the switch to the new consensus protocol will bring to the table. One of the biggest fears is that it will be controlled by several whales who will accumulate all the power and start changing how the network operates.
These claims are nothing but a way to move air around for those who like talking without any evidence backing their statements. PoS is a consensus mechanism that facilitates the validation of transactions. It has nothing to do with governance. While a theoretical scenario where a group of ultra-wealthy people tries to collapse the network is within the realm of possibility, it is true for any financial system whether crypto or not.
Buterin pointed out that he does not see the future of Bitcoin beyond the moment when the last token is issued. At that point, what would stop someone without a couple of billion dollars from completely devastating the whole system that does not generate enough revenue to keep going only on transaction fees?
In Ethereum’s case, the situation is a little bit more interesting as it moves toward an infrastructure that will be more regulated (in principle) yet will still have all perks of a decentralized system. The fear of centralization is strongly refuted by Vitalik himself who mentioned that he is now less influential in Ethereum development and decision-making process than ever and he believes that it’s a good thing.
Initially, he dreamt of a moment when the network would be run by many people who work together and create something innovative without any constraints. Today, he only participates in general theorizing and overall development, while not coding anymore.
Other influential users have noticed that their involvement and ability to change the course of the whole network have diminished as well. Ethereum is a great platform that does not need any centralization and it will not have it. However, the fear is caused by uncertainty and close to improbable, yet possible downfall of the Ethereum network after the merge.