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

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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.