, 2022-05-13 12:24:00,
Ethereum (ETH -1.09%) has long played second fiddle to Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) in the crypto world, despite the fact that many of the most exciting innovations in the crypto space (including the creation of NFTs and smart contracts) actually originated on the Ethereum blockchain. According to market capitalization, Bitcoin is still nearly twice as large as Ethereum, and many casual investors may keep a close eye on the price of BTC but seem to pay little or no attention to what’s happening with ETH.
But all that could change later this year. That’s when ETH might finally overtake BTC as the crypto you need to hold in your portfolio after making a much-anticipated change to its technological infrastructure.
Why “The Merge” is such a big moment for Ethereum
The event that crypto investors are keeping a close eye on is called “The Merge,” and it has acquired legendary status in the crypto world. It’s the moment when Ethereum officially shifts from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. It’s hard to put an exact date on this shift – it’s now targeted for early Fall 2022 – but when it happens, Ethereum is going to experience a massive upgrade to its capabilities. Proof-of-Work is the old, archaic model (at least, by crypto standards) still used by Bitcoin, while Proof-of-Stake is the new, innovative model used by upstart blockchains.
For the average investor on Main Street, what you need to know is that a shift to Proof-of-Stake is going to reduce energy consumption by the Ethereum blockchain by as much as 99%. This is huge, because Proof-of-Work requires crypto mining, and crypto mining is one of the most energy-intensive activities in the world. Electricity consumption by crypto miners is so high, in…
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