It’s a way off the $4,800 all-time-high, but the ether cryptocurrency is showing signs of life after a long downward spiral that began in April. Following news that the long-awaited Ethereum Merge could happen in September, ether passed $1,400 on Sunday. It’s the first time ether, the second biggest cryptocurrency, has broken at $1,400 since June 13.
Ether has been hit particularly hard by the recession fears that have gripped the global economy. Since the new year dawned, its lost 62% of its value — worse than the 52% cut bitcoin has endured. Since ether forms the basis of the nonfungible token market, NFT values have plummeted with it.
At the time of writing, ether’s value is up 26% compared to five days ago. The hike is being attributed to news that the Ethereum Merge, which will see the blockchain become nearly carbon neutral, is tentatively scheduled to be executed on September 19. That date was pencilled in during a recent conference call among ethereum developers, though it was noted that the date is subject to change.
The Ethereum Merge will see the blockchain transition from its current proof-of-work system to proof-of-stake. What does that crypto mumbo jumbo mean? The short story is that the solving of cryptographic puzzles, which is the part that guzzles electricity, will no longer be part of the blockchain mining process. As a result, ethereum is estimated to reduce its carbon footprint by 99.65%. You can find a full explanation of the Merge here.
Ethereum’s transition to proof of stake has been in the works since before the blockchain was even created, and has been delayed many times. That developers are confident enough to for the first time lock in a specific date — September 19 — rather than wider time periods like “sometime in 2022” has got investors excited.