Ethereum Blockchain Set for ‘Monumental’ Review | cryptonews

Cryptocurrency experts say the switch, which is expected to take place between Tuesday and Thursday, will reduce power consumption by more than 99 percent.

An army of computer programmers scattered around the world is ready to attempt one of the biggest software upgrades the cryptocurrency industry has seen this week to reduce its environmentally damaging energy consumption.

Developers have spent years working on a more energy-efficient version of the Ethereum blockchain, a digital ledger that underpins a multibillion-dollar ecosystem of cryptocurrencies, digital tokens (NFTs), games and apps.

Ethereum, the second largest blockchain after Bitcoin, consumes more energy each year than New Zealand.

Experts say the change, which is expected to take place between Tuesday and Thursday, would cut power consumption by more than 99 percent.

Enthusiasts hope that a greener Ethereum will spur broader adoption, particularly as a way to allow banks to automate transactions and other processes.

But until now the technology has largely been used to create speculative financial products.

ING Bank said in a recent note that the change could help Ethereum gain acceptance among lawmakers and regulators. “This, in turn, may boost the willingness of traditional financial institutions to develop ethereum-based services,” the bank said. –

‘technological milestone’

The change, called “the merger,” will change the way transactions are recorded.

At the moment, so-called crypto miners use power-hungry computer equipment to solve puzzles that reward them with new coins, a system known as “proof of work.”

The new system will wipe out those miners and their stacks of computers overnight.

Instead, “validators” will have to put up 32 Ether (worth $55,000), Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, to participate in the new “proof of stake” system where they earn rewards for their work.

But the merger process will be risky.

Blockchain company Consensys called it a “monumental technological milestone” and the biggest upgrade to Ethereum since it was launched in 2015. Critics have questioned whether such an upgrade will go ahead without incident, given the sector’s history of instability.

Ethereum went offline in May for three hours when a new NFT project caused a spike in buyers that overwhelmed the network. Several exchanges and crypto companies said they would stop trading during the merger process.

‘Decentralized and complicated’

The update also faces a possible rebellion from crypto mining companies whose business will be severely damaged.

They may try to hijack the process or create a “fork”, basically a smaller blockchain that would continue the old mechanism.

And even if the “merger” is successful, Ethereum will still face major hurdles before it can be more widely adopted. For example, it is expensive to use and upgrading will not reduce rates.

The crypto industry in general is beset by wildly fluctuating prices, security flaws, and a variety of scams.

Crypto lawyer Charles Kerrigan of firm CMS said that Ethereum was “decentralized and complicated” and not yet proven enough for governments and banks to get on board.

“There have been questions about how easily it could deal with updates of the kind that traditional software vendors provide to customers,” he said. “A successful merger will answer those questions.”

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