Ethereum, the second “blockchainn” the most important in the world of cryptocurrencies after that used for bitcoins, has managed to transform itself to drastically reduce its impact on the environment, but according to specialists, this change could have serious consequences.
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|Ethereum has managed to transform itself to dramatically reduce its environmental impact.|
Launched in 2015, Ethereum now houses billions of dollars in transactions, thanks in particular to the Ether cryptocurrency, and also serves as a support for many assets such as NFTs, tamper-resistant digital certificates of authenticity.
After months of preparation, this is “blockchain” – a term referring to a large computer registry – successfully completed on September 15 one of the largest software updates in the history of the industry.
baptized “The Merge” in English), this dangerous operation consisted in changing one of the pillars of Ethereum’s operation – the mode of validation of operations – to evolve into a system that consumes less energy.
Since it works without a central authority, it is up to some users of Ethereum to validate the operations taking place on this massive ledger.
Until mid-September to this circle of “validators“, it was necessary to solve a very complex calculation that requires a lot of computing power. The exercise, called “Proof of work” in English (“Proof of Work”“), consumes a lot of electricity.
Now are “validators” must place a bet in Ether to have the right to validate. A method called “Proof of Stake” in French) that allows to get rid of heavy infrastructures and only need software.
Indeed, almost a month later, this change has wiped out more than 99% of the blockchain’s electricity consumption, which until then was more or less equivalent to the consumption of a country like New Zealand, according to Alex de Vries. an economist at the Free University of Amsterdam.
The 99% estimate is realistic and represents a positive step towards “sustainability of cryptocurrencies”, supports Moritz Platt, a crypto researcher at King’s College London.
His long-awaited transition, on the other hand, caused a real earthquake for the “minors”these individuals responsible for validating operations who had invested in high-quality computing equipment.
Before “The fusion”According to Alex de Vries, this industry could bring in about $22 million a day through Ethereum alone. However, the new transaction validation method has rendered them obsolete.
“We cannot magically resell all these infrastructures and get back the invested capital”complained a crypto miner known only as “Y”, which operates between Singapore and Hong Kong (China).