Ethereum Merge: What will the radical update mean for cryptocurrency?

The electricity consumption of the Ethereum cryptocurrency rivals that of some countries, but a controversial update to how it works will slash this by 99 per cent – here’s the low-down on what’s going on

Technology 13 September 2022

An Ethereum office

Ethereum is about to completely change how it works to lower its carbon emissions

askarim/Shutterstock

This week Ethereum – the world’s second largest cryptocurrency – will release the biggest update ever seen in a digital currency, transforming how it operates and reducing its energy demands by as much as 99 per cent. Why is “the Merge” happening, and what will be the effect?

What is the Merge?

Like other cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, Ethereum relies on proof of work (POW) for security, meaning that computers perform huge numbers of calculations to “mine” new …

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