Ethereum outshines bitcoin with its upcoming ‘Merge’ in focus (Cryptocurrency:ETH-USD)

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Ethereum (ETH-USD) has outpaced bitcoin (BTC-USD) in late Wednesday morning trading ahead of its highly-anticipated “Merge” to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism from Proof-of-Work, in a move that will reduce the blockchain’s energy usage by around 99% and boost its network security.

In the midst of a broader risk-on day, the world’s largest altcoin by market cap (ETH-USD) rose slightly by 0.3% to $1.59K at 11:43 a.m. ET, while bitcoin (BTC-USD) slid 2.8% to $20.24K after a 10% one-day plunge in the prior session.

Google has set up an estimated countdown for the long-awaited Ether (ETH-USD) Merge based on difficulty and hash rate, showing just over 13 hours until its due, as of the time of writing. SA contributor The Digital Trend contended that the price of ether (ETH-USD), which is down nearly 60% YTD, will fall post-Merge and thus lead to a market-wide selloff.

Amid concerns arising from regulators and wary institutional investors about crypto’s intensive energy usage via PoW, it’s important to note that ether’s (ETH-USD) migration to PoS may be “the most rapid transition any economy has reduced its carbon footprint in all of history,” said Jonathan Victor, head of NFTs at Filecoin. “Most industries are targeting net zero by 2050, and with the merge, ETH will get substantially closer to this goal.”

Furthermore, since Ether (ETH-USD) is the world’s second biggest blockchain, the software upgrade “presents an opportunity for sustainable blockchain projects looking for a home,” said Junnu Salovaara, head of Platform Development at regenerative finance firm Likvidi. “Previously, a single transaction consumed enough energy to power an average US household for a whole week. Post-merge, it will be closer to boiling a kettle,” he added.

Meanwhile, crypto-related stocks were trading mixed intraday, with MicroStrategy (MSTR) -1.8%, Coinbase Global (COIN) +3.4%, Galaxy Digital (OTCPK:BRPHF) +1.9%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) -0.6% and Marathon Digital (MARA) +0.3%.

Earlier this week, (Sep. 13) Robinhood CEO says bitcoin most popular recurring investment on platform.