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Percy Bolmér

Percy Bolmér

Percy Bolmér

Percy Bolmér

1 month ago

Ethereum No Longer Consumes A Medium-Sized Country's Electricity To Run

The Merge cut Ethereum's energy use by 99.5%.

Image by Percy Bolmér. Gopher by Takuya Ueda, Original Go Gopher by Renée French (CC BY 3.0)

The Crypto community celebrated on September 15, 2022. This day, Ethereum Merged. The entire blockchain successfully merged with the Beacon chain, and it was so smooth you barely noticed.

Many have waited, dreaded, and longed for this day.

Some investors feared the network would break down, while others envisioned a seamless merging.

Speculators predict a successful Merge will lead investors to Ethereum. This could boost Ethereum's popularity.

What Has Changed Since The Merge

The merging transitions Ethereum mainnet from PoW to PoS.

PoW sends a mathematical riddle to computers worldwide (miners). First miner to solve puzzle updates blockchain and is rewarded.

The puzzles sent are power-intensive to solve, so mining requires a lot of electricity. It's sent to every miner competing to solve it, requiring duplicate computation.

PoS allows investors to stake their coins to validate a new transaction. Instead of validating a whole block, you validate a transaction and get the fees.

You can validate instead of mine. A validator stakes 32 Ethereum. After staking, the validator can validate future blocks.

Once a validator validates a block, it's sent to a randomly selected group of other validators. This group verifies that a validator is not malicious and doesn't validate fake blocks.

This way, only one computer needs to solve or validate the transaction, instead of all miners. The validated block must be approved by a small group of validators, causing duplicate computation.

PoS is more secure because validating fake blocks results in slashing. You lose your bet tokens. If a validator signs a bad block or double-signs conflicting blocks, their ETH is burned.

Theoretically, Ethereum has one block every 12 seconds, so a validator forging a block risks burning 1 Ethereum for 12 seconds of transactions. This makes mistakes expensive and risky.

What Impact Does This Have On Energy Use?

Cryptocurrency is a natural calamity, sucking electricity and eating away at the earth one transaction at a time.

Many don't know the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, yet it's tremendous.

A single Ethereum transaction used to use 200 kWh and leave a large carbon imprint. This update reduces global energy use by 0.2%.

Energy consumption PER transaction for Ethereum post-merge. Image from Digiconomist

Ethereum will submit a challenge to one validator, and that validator will forward it to randomly selected other validators who accept it.

This reduces the needed computing power.

They expect a 99.5% reduction, therefore a single transaction should cost 1 kWh.

Carbon footprint is 0.58 kgCO2, or 1,235 VISA transactions.

This is a big Ethereum blockchain update.

I love cryptocurrency and Mother Earth.