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September 20, 2022

Ethereum’s Merge and cryptos’ green issue

In this photo illustration created in Washington, DC, on September 15, 2022, the Ethereum logo on a physical imitation of an Ethereum cryptocurrency is reflected on a phone screen. – Leading cryptocurrency figures hailed on on September 15, 2022, the completion of one of the biggest software upgrades the sector has ever attempted, an overhaul of the Ethereum blockchain aimed at reducing its massive energy consumption. Developers had spent years working on an energy-efficient version of Ethereum, a digital ledger that underpins tens of billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies, digital tokens (NFTs), games and apps. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
In this photo illustration created in Washington, DC, on September 15, 2022, the Ethereum logo on a physical imitation of an Ethereum cryptocurrency is reflected on a phone screen. – Leading cryptocurrency figures hailed on on September 15, 2022, the completion of one of the biggest software upgrades the sector has ever attempted, an overhaul of the Ethereum blockchain aimed at reducing its massive energy consumption. Developers had spent years working on an energy-efficient version of Ethereum, a digital ledger that underpins tens of billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies, digital tokens (NFTs), games and apps. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Even if you don’t follow closely (or don’t care at all) about cryptocurrencies, you may have heard about Ethereum’s ‘Merge’ last week. Essentially, The Merge (capital ‘t’ and capital ‘m’), has brought together two types of blockchains and halved the energy consumption required to mine the coin, according to the organisation behind it.

It looks like experts and pundits welcome the move. Cryptocurrencies’ environmental impact is becoming a more commonly discussed issue. But some would like regulators to have a stronger say in the matter.

“Our recent report found that while regulators have issued over 15,000 pieces of regulatory content around crypto, less than 0.1 per cent of those discussed sustainability issues,” told us Jennifer Clarke at regulation technology company Cube. “Moreover, where sustainability issues have been raised – as we saw with [the Markets in Crypto-assets regulation agreed] in the EU – they were quickly scrubbed from proposed rules.”

You’ll find the report she refers to at the link below.

Read the report

A service from the Financial Times