A complex software change to the cryptocurrency ethereum holds the potential to dramatically reduce its energy consumption — and resulting climate-related pollution. But the transition known as “the merge” is not going to do the trick by itself.
With the change enacted late Wednesday, ethereum — the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency after bitcoin — has effectively eliminated the energy-intensive task of “mining” new coins on its blockchain. Mining requires enormous computing power, which translates to huge energy consumption and, in many areas, greater greenhouse gas emissions at older power plants.
By itself, however, the ethereum change won’t eliminate crypto’s expected
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