How One Cryptocurrency Company Just Became More Eco-Friendly

Ethereum is upgrading its systems to change the way it generates blockchain data, making it more energy efficient by reducing its carbon footprint by 99%, thus becoming more eco-friendly.

By Ryan Clancey | Published

Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, has released plans to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 99%. They are upgrading their system, known as ‘the merge,’ to change how their transactions are managed on the Ethereum blockchain. The blockchain is a public ledger that underpins the cryptocurrency and produces ether tokens.

Ethereum and Bitcoin have come under fire numerous times due to their high levels of pollution and increased carbon footprint. Ethereum has now changed that.

Proof of Stake

Where does the money come from? Unlike our printed money, it is not so straightforward to produce cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a digital alternative for payment using encryption algorithms.

Due to this new ‘merge,’ Ethereum will no longer be created by the process called ‘mining.’ This process can be energy intensive as it is where computers generate random numbers that validate transactions on the blockchain and create new ether tokens as part of the process.

Previously known as ‘proof of work,’ the new system ‘proof of stake’ is where individuals and companies act as validators, pledging their own ether as a form of guarantee, to win newly created tokens. Thus, using a significantly less amount of energy, unlike the previous method.

ethereum

When cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum were relatively new, ‘the proof of work’ system was not so energy intensive, but due to its ever-increasing popularity, it became more overworked. The more people mined the cryptocurrency, the more complicated and intensive the computational difficulty of the blockchain puzzles had to be, thus using more energy.

Carbon Footprints

It has been suggested that the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, after bitcoin, used up as much electricity as Austria, at 72 terawatt-hours a year, last year. But sources say that this merger will reduce its carbon emission by over 99%. So by updating its system with this new ‘merge,’ it has essentially turned what was a group of gigantic digital factories into no more than a network of computers.

Even though this is an excellent move for Ethereum and the earth’s environment, Bitcoin, the most successful cryptocurrency, is still the single biggest source of pollution. It has been suggested that Bitcoin used the same amount of energy as Sweden within a year.

Rise in Stocks

After the merger, Ethereum stocks rose 2% to $1,630, valuing the currency at just under $200 billion. This rise shows that ‘the merger’ should attract more investors to the cryptocurrency as there will be a decrease in Ether token supply for months after, making it more exclusive.

If this upgrade goes well for Ethereum, judging by its stock, it will pressure big players like Bitcoin to upgrade their system to something more environmentally friendly. While it is guaranteed that an upgrade of this magnitude will have its bugs and problems, it shows that you can have your cake and eat it too. These moves towards a greener cryptocurrency future are ground-breaking for Ethereum.

Take a bow, Ethereum; you deserve it. Bitcoin, it is over to you.