Ethereum's Launch of 'The Merge' Hopes to Add Sustainability to Blockchain
MIN READSep 15, 2022 | 18:01 GMT
An ethereum mining rig is on display at the Thailand Crypto Expo 2022 on May 14, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand.
(Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)
"The Merge" by the ethereum blockchain is the first major cryptocurrency to shift away from the computing- and energy-intensive "mining" process for data validation to one that is more sustainable. On Sept. 15, the ethereum blockchain finally merged with a different blockchain that shifts the currency's blockchain validation method away from a so-called proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm for validation. In the more widespread proof-of-work method, computers essentially compete to be the first to solve complicated mathematical equations to "validate" a new block in a blockchain and earn cryptocurrency to do so. For extremely popular cryptocurrencies like ethereum and bitcoin -- which respectively have about $200 billion and $400 billion of currency in circulation based on current prices -- this has led to an arms race among blockchain miners to use more processing power -- and more energy -- to more frequently win the race to solve those equations....