What happened

Ethereum (ETH -2.01%) is up 4.82% in the past 24 hours, to $3,235.69 per token as of 2:30 p.m. EDT. The token has been gaining momentum all week, with a return of 20.26% in the past seven days. Investors are still digesting Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin's proposal for another major update to switch Ethereum to a proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol. 

Checking for discrepancies in Ethereum transactions.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what 

The environmental sustainability of crypto mining was a major reason behind the fear, uncertainty, and doubt ("FUD") that plagued the crypto market for much of May to late July. For example, it takes as much energy to process one Bitcoin (BTC -0.08%) transaction as it does 1.2 million Visa transactions. That number is only going to rise in the future as Bitcoin's mining difficulty increases exponentially as per design.

Last week, Ethereum creators launched the London hard fork. Among many things, the protocol change disincentivizes mining on its network -- introducing the burning (or canceling) of transaction fees that will reduce mining revenue by 20% to 30%. 

Now what 

It was a stepping stone for Ethereum to transition to a PoS protocol. Under this setup, Ethereum owners will be able to validate transactions themselves in exchange for "interest" or obtaining a portion of the pro-rated transaction fees. Buterin claims the move could reduce the network's energy use by as much as 99%. If successful, it would effectively resolve the "environmental FUD" surrounding Ethereum and cause the price of tokens to skyrocket. The update is already years in the making, so the outcome is very likely for the promising cryptocurrency.