Ethereum Merge: How One Big Cryptocurrency Is Going Green

Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, is about to transition to a new operating model that uses 99.9% less energy. The Merge change is intended to appease critics who believe cryptocurrencies are harmful to the environment.

The Merge has been part of Ethereum’s plan since its inception in 2014, according to Vitalik Buterin, but has had to be postponed numerous times due to its technical complexity.

The task has been compared to rebuilding a skyscraper’s foundations while it is still standing. The Ethereum blockchain supports not only the Ethereum currency, but also other coins and crypto products worth hundreds of millions of dollars, such as NFTs. If something goes wrong, it could jeopardize what is arguably the most important ecosystem in cryptocurrency, affecting both large and small investors worldwide. If everything goes well, customers should notice no difference.

“It’s very exciting and a significant accomplishment. Yes, there are nerves in the sense that things are unlikely to go perfectly smoothly, but that is to be expected “According to Justin Drake, an Ethereum Foundation researcher.”We now have infrastructure in place that allows us to continue moving forward even if some parts of the network fail for whatever reason.”

What Exactly Is the Merge?

The Ethereum blockchain is a massive, immutable database that records every transaction that occurs. It has previously been updated, verified, and maintained by a global network of volunteers equipped with powerful computers, who are rewarded for their efforts with new coins – a process known as cryptomining. Proof of Work is a system used by many of the most popular blockchains, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Litecoin. The Ethereum Proof of Work blockchain will merge with a carbon copy called the Beacon Chain, which has been running on a new Proof of Stake system since 2020.

Proof of Stake drastically reduces the number of computers required to keep the blockchain running, and cryptominers are replaced by a smaller number of “validators,” who stake their own stash of Ethereum coins against their work. If they make a mistake, they automatically lose it. Proof of Stake reduces the number of coins given out as a reward, as well as the overall number of coins in existence, in addition to lowering Ethereum’s energy burden.

Friendly to the Environment

Proof of Stake not only reduces the number of computers required but also reduces the computing power required. Ordinary laptops and desktop computers can be used in place of expensive computers with powerful GPUs (graphics processing units). Because mining is decentralized, it is difficult to get an accurate picture of how much energy is being used globally, but the Ethereum Foundation claims that Ethereum used as much electricity as the Netherlands in June.

According to the foundation, switching to Proof of Stake will reduce energy consumption from around 112 Terrawatt hours per year to 0.01 Terrawatt hours per year. According to the most recent estimates from Digiconomist, a group that studies the economics of digital trends, the amount of power used in the network has decreased in recent months. It estimates that pre-Merge Ethereum usage is now at 82 Terrawatt hours per year, with a carbon footprint comparable to that of Finland.

What Will Happen to Cryptominers Now?

The Merge forces Ethereum’s vast army of mining volunteers to make a difficult choice. Already in the spring, when the value of coins plummeted, cryptomining became less profitable. In many parts of the world, energy costs are also rising, reducing potential profits. Ethereum miners must now either find a new way to make money with their equipment or sell it. According to some reports, a large-scale GPU sale has already begun.

Prima Technologies, a mining company based in Dubai, is investing tens of thousands of dollars to replace their Ethereum GPU mining computers with even more expensive and energy-hungry machines capable of mining for Bitcoin. “It’s difficult because no other Proof of Work currency is as profitable as Ethereum,” said spokesman Ammar Lashkari. “We’ll keep some of our Ethereum machines and start mining alternative coins, but it won’t be the same, so we’ll gradually diversify into Bitcoin mining.”

Ash Andrews of Staffordshire, UK, hopes to continue making money mining for other coins with his existing equipment. “I have mixed feelings about The Merge. We miners have had an easy time mining Ethereum, and now we must switch to another coin. There has been a lot of change “He stated. Some people are more optimistic about the future of GPU mining. Josh Riddett, CEO of Manchester-based Easy Crypto Hunter, believes that mining less popular coins will eventually be profitable.

“During the peak of the Ethereum price, every mining rig we had was earning $150 per day, which is incredible. Yes, we are experiencing a numerical downturn, but who knows what the value of other coins will be in three to five years?”


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