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Ethereum's merge: 5 things to know about cryptocurrency upgrade

More sustainable model to use 99% less energy, say backers

Ethereum's developers say a change in the way the cryptocurrency is created will reduce the network's energy consumption by 99.95%.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- One of the world's most popular cryptocurrencies is on its way to becoming radically more energy efficient, if a long-awaited upgrade goes according to plan this week.

Ethereum, the blockchain technology behind the ether digital coin, is transitioning to an alternative computing method for creating new coins and logging transactions. Developers and supporters say this shift -- dubbed "the merge" -- will slash energy use by over 99% compared with conventional cryptocurrency models like those used by Bitcoin. The massive carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies has been one of the main criticisms leveled against them.

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