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Cloudflare Expected to Run Ethereum Nodes as Merge Event Approaches

Internet security company Cloudflare has announced it will run and fully stake several Ethereum validator nodes in the coming months.

3 min read
Ethereum is the second-largest crypto asset by market cap. Image: Shutterstock

Internet security company Cloudflare has announced in a new blog post that it plans to run and fully stake Ethereum validator nodes “over the next few months.” 

“Over the next few months, Cloudflare will launch, and fully stake, Ethereum validator nodes on the Cloudflare global network as the community approaches its transition from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake with ‘The Merge,’” read the post.

Decrypt has asked Cloudflare how many nodes they plan to launch, but we have yet to receive a response. 

Cloudflare is committed to playing a small role in the transition to Ethereum 2.0, the upgrade when Ethereum will transition from being a proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain, where transactions are validated by miners with a lot of computing power, to a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain, where miners who put up the most collateral validate the most transactions.

The merge” refers to when Ethereum’s mainnet will merge with the PoS-based Beacon Chain. After that, Ethereum 2.0 (which recently rebranded to the “Consensus Layer”) will be up and running.  

Cloudflare says its Ethereum validator nodes “will serve as a testing ground for research on energy efficiency, consistency management, and network speed.”

Anyone can become an Ethereum validator node and earn rewards to verify new blocks to be added to the blockchain. All you need is a computer that has 24/7 internet access and about 32 Ethereum, or $66,666 at today’s price. 

Cloudflare turns to blockchain

Cloudflare was founded in 2010 to help businesses fortify and speed up their websites. The company’s mission is to “build a better internet,” an ideal also shared by the proponents and developers of blockchain technology. 

Cloudflare has since become a major player in website security and content delivery services. Last year, the company posted a tidy revenue of $656.4 million.

In 2018, Cloudflare began its blockchain pivot, starting with the launch of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) Gateway

The gateway provides a read-only, HTTP-accessible interface to the Interplanetary File System (IPFS). It doesn’t require users to download any special software or give up any storage space.

The IPFS is a blockchain-based file-sharing network, which even hosts all your favorite Decrypt articles, including this one. To read this article, or any other, on IPFS, simply scroll down to the bottom of any decrypt.co story, and next to all the social sharing buttons is a cube with “IPFS” next to it. Click that link. 

A year later, Cloudflare launched the Ethereum Gateway, which lets users interact with Ethereum and add interactive elements to sites powered by Ethereum smart contracts without installing additional software. 

At the end of last month, Cloudflare ​​detected and stopped a huge distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on a cryptocurrency platform but declined to reveal the platform's identity.

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