Founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin on December 8, 2015 in London, England.

The Ethereum blockchain is expected to undergo a major change in August.
The event, dubbed the merge, will transform how ether is mined, or created.
The transition will theoretically make for a greener and more secure crypto space.

The blockchain underpinning the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency is getting a major upgrade in August.

Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin announced the long-awaited date at a developer conference in May, setting a more specific time for the highly-anticipated switch that previously had no deadline.

There are a few ways to think of the event, which has been dubbed the merge, named so because two major aspects of the Ethereum platform will be joined together: the existing chain and a relatively new one.

It’ll transform the backbone of how people transact with ether — a transformation that could make for a greener and more secure future in this part of the crypto world. But as some industry watchers have described it, it’ll be like replacing the engine of an airplane while it’s flying.

The merge ‘replaces these energy-hungry machines’

Ether, like bitcoin, is created when so-called miners use computers with really fast processors to solve complex computational puzzles. Once solved, the transactions are then secure on the Ethereum blockchain. 

The first miner to solve any given puzzle receives a reward payment in the form of ether. In recent years, that reward has been two ether, which amounts to over $6,000.

That competition incentivizes miners to run their computers at 100% for long periods of time, eating up massive amounts of energy — about the same carbon footprint made by the country of Finland, per the blockchain firm Consensys.

That’s why critics are concerned about cryptocurrency’s environmental impact. 

The merge will transform Ethereum from this current model, known as proof-of-work, to one called proof-of-stake, spelling the end of ether crypto mining. Instead, crypto owners who hold a certain amount of ether can deposit, or stake, it and become a so-called validator.

“It replaces these energy-hungry machines,” David Lawant — director of research at the crypto index fund Bitwise Asset Management — told Insider, and Ethereum will end up consuming much less energy than it does today — an estimated 99% less.

The more you stake, the greater chance you have of being chosen as a validator to arrange people’s transactions on the Ethereum blockchain into blocks — and reap the …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

Ethereum’s climate-friendly facelift will happen in August, founder Vitalik Buterin says, spelling the end of ether mining

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