Update: March 24,2022
The Merge Eventually the current Ethereum Mainnet will "merge" with the beacon chain proof-of-stake system. This will mark the end of proof-of-work for Ethereum, and the full transition to proof-of-stake. This is planned to precede the roll out of shard chains. We formerly referred to this as "the docking." This upgrade represents the official switch to proof-of-stake consensus. This eliminates the need for energy-intensive mining, and instead secures the network using staked ether. A truly exciting step in realizing the Ethereum vision – more scalability, security, and sustainability.