Post-crash cryptocurrencies

The future of crypto is at stake in Ethereum's switch

Can decentralised networks reform themselves?

The reducing of Ethereum's environmental impact and highlighting the potential for future improvements would suggest that crypto has a brighter future than many now appreciate, the article argues. PHOTO: REUTERS
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It is 2pm Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) on Aug 18 and all over the world people are dialling in to a fortnightly "core developers" Zoom call, which is broadcast live on YouTube to anyone who wants to watch. None of the participants have their cameras on. Most appear as just black squares with names - including one labelled Vitalik, behind which lurks Vitalik Buterin, the inventor of Ethereum.

A handful of users have adopted a panda avatar, with cartoon faces swaying and smiling in time to their human counterparts. That they picked the monochrome bear is thanks to Hsiao Wei Wang, an Ethereum researcher, who created a meme showing two bears, one black and one white, doing the "fusion dance" from Dragon Ball Z, a popular anime show. In the show the dance fuses two creatures into a single, stronger one. The panda - a combination of the two bears - has since become a symbol for "the merge".

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