Next month, the group that runs Ethereum will have reached its goal of cutting its carbon emissions by 99%.
“The Merge” will change the core technology of Ethereum for verifying crypto transactions. It should be a method that uses less energy.
The integration will get rid of “miners” in the ecosystem of Ethereum, which will reduce the amount of power used. These people use high-tech tools to generate random numbers that hurt network security.
The Essense of Ethereum Work
A Dutch economist, Alex de Vries, says that mining for Ethereum uses 72 terawatt-hours of electricity every year. That’s like Colombia’s electricity use with Switzerland’s carbon impact.
Because of the switch, the platform will stop using “proof of work,” which requires cryptocurrency miners to generate random numbers to authenticate blockchain data.
Ethereum will use a method called “proof of stake,” where users “stake” bitcoin and promise to act honestly or lose it.
De Vries said that the change will make less use of energy. A decrease of at least 99% should be possible. This is like Portugal’s data centers, which use a fourth of the world’s power, suddenly going away.
Proof-of-stake is being tested on an experimental blockchain called “beacon” to make sure that its security is good enough for the multibillion-dollar ethereum network economy.
The Ethereum Foundation said that the integration was like a spaceship that couldn’t go to other planets. The community now has a new engine thanks to the beacon chain. After a lot of testing, it’s almost time to switch out the engines while the aircraft is in the air. This will add the new, more powerful engine to the existing spaceship, making it ready to explore the universe.
There is still uncertainty. Hackers could use the issues surrounding the switchover to trick people into giving them their passwords, money, or both. The group said that during the change, scammers might try to take advantage of people. Don’t send ETH to “upgrade to ETH2”. There is no ETH2 token, which means that your money is safe.
The last parts of the integration are set to start on September 6.
Proof of stake has been shown on a smaller scale by Cardano and Solana. Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency, will face increased criticism for relying on proof of work.
De Vries thinks that the Bitcoin network needs 130 TWh of power every year. This number may be harder to prove to be reasonable if the Ethereum blockchain shows that the same capabilities may be delivered in a more sustainable way.