Ethereum Merge: How one big cryptocurrency is going green
The second biggest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, is about to switch over to a new operating model that uses 99.9% less energy. The change, called The Merge, is designed to win over critics who see cryptocurrencies as environmentally harmful. Ethereum currently uses as much energy as a medium-sized country. Other cryptocurrencies, including the biggest, Bitcoin, will remain as energy-intensive as before. Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin says The Merge has been part of the plan for Ethereum since it was launched in 2014 but has had to be postponed many times due to its technical complexity. The task has been compared to rebuilding the foundations of a skyscraper while it remains standing. The Ethereum blockchain supports not only the Ethereum currency but also hundreds of millions of dollars worth of other coins and crypto products like NFTs. If something goes wrong it could jeopardize arguably the most important ecosystem in cryptocurrency, affecting large and small investors around the world. If all goes well, consumers should not notice any change. “It’s really exciting and a major achievement. Yes there are nerves in the sense that things will probably not go 100% smoothly, but that’s expected,” says Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake.