Africa: Will Bitcoin Adopt Energy-Saving “Merge” like Ether

The second-largest crypto token in the world, ether, is based on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is about to undergo a software upgrade that will drastically reduce the amount of energy it consumes.

The “merge” software upgrade occurs as debate over the environmental effects of crypto mining in the United States heats up. Green organizations claim that crypto mining’s use of fossil fuels undermines efforts to reduce emissions that cause global warming.

“Why can’t we transition cryptocurrency in the same way that automobiles are switching from diesel to electric power?”, says Carmine Russo, a researcher at the Imperial College Business School’s Center for Climate Finance & Investment and the creator of a recent study on cryptocurrency and climate change.

According to the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit that claims to support ethereum, the conversion from the energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) procedure to the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) approach should reduce the digital currency’s power usage by more than 99%.

According to estimates, Ethereum consumes around 6 gigawatts, or more than the power consumed by 1 million households in the United States. The PoW mechanism is now used by Ethereum and the biggest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, to secure their networks and distribute new tokens

In order to compete to verify data blocks and generate new crypto currencies, miners are forced to run millions of powerful, energy-guzzling computers.

With the PoS method, ether owners will “stake” a pre-determined amount of their currencies to check new transactions on the blockchain and earn further coins.

Even while bitcoin and ethereum make up the majority of the value in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the majority of other cryptocurrencies, excluding these two, rely on techniques other than PoW, according to Russo.

Investors and environmental activists have been increasingly critical of how much energy most blockchain transactions consume, drawing the attention of lawmakers.

Bitcoin supporters claim that the energy usage of the sector, which a recent White House assessment pegged at between 0.09% and 1.7% of overall U.S. electricity consumption, is being unfairly singled out.

The mining industry has the ability to contribute to the expansion of renewable energy networks by financing new green power projects, according to industry associations that have revealed data showing that more than half of the power consumed by miners comes from renewable sources.

A fellow at the pro-bitcoin Bitcoin Policy Institute, Margot Paez, noted that the code change in ethereum will probably increase pressure on bitcoin to follow suit.

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