Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, finalized “The Merge” software upgrade-Zamkuwire - Zamkuwire.com

Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, finalized “The Merge” software upgrade-Zamkuwire

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Ethereum finalizes 'The Merge' to lower energy consumption by 99%

Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, finalized “The Merge” software upgrade Thursday to lower its energy consumption by an estimated 99%.

After years of development and postponements, the much-anticipated upgrade on the blockchain’s network was completed with success, according to the Ethereum Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports the cryptocurrency.

The technologically complicated process has become one of the hardest open-source software projects in history, as thousands of developers worked in coordination for years.

The Merge has been referred to as the main upgrade on Ethereum’s blockchain, which has now moved from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake mechanism.

Earlier, the proof-of-work mechanism required users, called miners, to work with high-powered computers to solve complex puzzles to earn tokens or Ether.

The proof-of-stake does not need computers and now offers a greener and more energy-efficient method for users to deposit their Ether in a process called staking.

More than 40,000 people watched the final stages of The Merge on YouTube around 2.40 a.m. EDT for 15 minutes during the ‘Ethereum Mainnet Merge Viewing Party.’

“And we finalized! Happy merge all. This is a big moment for the Ethereum ecosystem. Everyone who helped make the merge happen should feel very proud today,” Vitalik Buterin, who helped create Ethereum, wrote on Twitter.

“The merge will reduce worldwide electricity consumption by 0.2%,” he added.

The Merge did not have much effect on the price of Ethereum, which was trading around $1,574 at 12.40 p.m. EDT – losing 1.2% on the day. Its total market value was a little more than $192 billion, according to data from the digital asset price-tracking website, CoinMarketCap.

While cryptocurrencies have become more popular in the past two years, reaching record prices at the end of last year, they have been criticized for massive price fluctuations and damage to the environment because of high energy consumption.

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