Ethereum’s Stealth Move to Wipe Out Its Carbon Footprint

Ethereum gained the spotlight with Merge, which reduced the energy use and carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies more than expected by 99.99%.

the second largest cryptocurrency – Ethereum – it recently eliminated its power consumption overnight by switching to a new “proof-of-stake” blockchain system called Merge.

Designed to dramatically reduce overall network power usage, the update has in fact done just that.

Initial estimates of energy consumption reduction are approximately 99.95%. But the Fusion was able to go further with 99.99% less energy use than estimated.

The software update also cut off Ether. carbon footprint for the same figure.

Ethereum energy use before the merger

The call “Link” was executed as the energy intensity of cryptocurrency protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum is a hot topic in the US.

In fact, the White House released a report detailing the energy impacts of crypto mining operations.

Crypto miners, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, use a power-hungry consensus mechanism called “proof of work” (PoW).

  • Work test It is estimated that it represents approximately 0.9% to 1.7% of all US electricity use in 2021.

Previously, the PoW mechanism required miners to work with high-powered computers to solve complex puzzles to earn tokens or Ether.

Ethereum used to run on the same unsustainable PoW mechanism as Bitcoin. This consensus system is as inefficient as shown below.

Ethereum footprint Before Link

  • Before the merger, a single Ethereum transaction consumed approximately 264 kWh of energy according to Digiconomist data.

That is equal to the consumption of an average American household for 9 days.

What’s worse is his carbon footprint; the same single Ethereum transaction issues 125kgCO2.

This broadcast is the same as watching YouTube during 20,900 hours! That is equal to more than 2 years of observation.

At the same time, the total annual footprint of Ethereum is almost 54 Mt CO2. That is equal to emissions from the entire country of Singapore.

  • In fact, if Bitcoin and Ethereum were one country, estimates place their combined energy use as 12th in the world with over 300 TWh by year.

These footprints were reduced after Ethereum switched to the “Proof of Stake” (PoS) crypto mining model.

Ethereum footprint after merger

PoS does not need computers and offers a greener and more energy efficient way for cryptocurrency users to deposit their Ether. They call this process “staking”.

With PoS after the merger, there is no longer a network of high power consumption mining devices competing with each other to make the next block for the underlying blockchain. Rather, wealth plays an important role in the process of creating blocks with PoS.

Instead of using expensive GPUs and high specs, users just need a basic laptop and a stable internet connection.

The result is a massive reduction in energy usage by Ethereum.

To compare Ethereum’s PoS to Bitcoin’s PoW and power usage, here’s a good illustration of the cryptographic signature itself.

ETH pow vs pos comparison
Source: Ethereum blog

When it comes to emissions, the crypto footprint for a single transaction was also reduced to just 0.01kgCO2. That corresponds only 2 hours to watch YouTube.

In terms of its total annual carbon footprint, it went from 54 Mt CO2 to just 0.01 Mt CO2.

Ethereum footprint After Link

ethereum footprint after merge

For some industry experts such as ConsenSys, he commented that the Ethereum merger is the “greatest decarbonization in the history of technology”.

If the company seeks to obtain carbon credits for such a massive reduction in their emissions, that would be a huge amount. One carbon credit is equivalent to one ton of carbon avoided.

Also, carbon backed crypto tokens have been gaining more traction recently.

And while other blockchain networks like Bitcoin, ravencoinY Namely have seen increasing hash rates after the merger, their massive power usage is no longer tied to Ethereum.

As such, Ethereum manages to get rid of the environmental issues that continue to rock the world of cryptocurrencies.

An Enterprise Ethereum Alliance board member said of the new PoS mechanism:

“This update is very significant and I think it will allow companies to consider public Ethereum blockchain approaches where they haven’t before.”

Looking ahead, many predicted a continued push toward green crypto mining operations in the US as the world races towards zero net emissions.