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What does the ethereum ‘merge’ mean for crypto startups?

Ethereum merge
Image credit: Cryptographer via Shutterstock

Ethereum has completed a software upgrade, known as “the merge”, to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 99%. But what does it mean, and how will it impact cryptocurrency startups?

One of the biggest concerns surrounding the growing popularity of blockchain-based products like cryptocurrencies and NFTs is their environmental impact.

The new software upgrade, which was announced by ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin on Thursday, will change the way transactions using the asset are managed on the blockchain.

The public ledger underpinning ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, previously required powerful computers to solve complex problems to verify transactions and maintain the network. This process is known as “proof of work”.

Following the merge, ethereum has moved to a “proof of stake” model in which individuals stake their own ether to validate transactions. This model uses significantly less energy....