A substantial change in the market for cryptocurrencies is coming, or so at least it promises Ethereum, one of the most popular digital currencies after bitcoin. Since it is soon to carry out a software update that has been popularly known as “fusion”, which would reduce carbon emissions by more than 99% to reduce energy consumption.
The project, called “the merger,” will result in ethereum changing the underlying technology it uses to validate crypto transactions to a new process that requires less power to manage.
Once complete, the merger will end the role of “miners” in the ethereum ecosystem, helping to drastically reduce electricity use.
It would move from its current technology infrastructure, known as “work test”to a more energy efficient infrastructure called “proof of stake”.
In addition to reduce energy consumptionthe upgrade is intended to provide long-term benefits such as reduce high commissions that are charged for making transactions in ether.
Ethereum mining power consumption is currently estimated at around 72 terawatt-hours per year, according to Alex de Vries, a Dutch economist who runs the Digiconomist website. That is comparable to the energy consumption of Colombia, with a carbon footprint equivalent to that of Switzerland.
De Vries said the change would eliminate most electricity use. “They could cut off a lot of your power demand. I’ll work on quantifying that more precisely, but at least 99% (probably even 99.9%) reduction should be achievable. This translates into something like the electricity consumption of a country like Portugal (a quarter of all data centers in the world combined) disappearing overnight.”
“Imagine that ethereum is a spaceship that is not ready for interstellar travel,” the ethereum foundation said, explaining the merger. “With the chain of beacons, the community has built a new engine and a hardened hull. After significant testing, it’s almost time to hot-swap the new motor for the old one mid-flight. This will fuse the new, more efficient engine into the existing ship, ready to put out some serious light-years and take on the universe.”