Ethereum’s recent upgrades showcase a cut in the power demand by cryptocurrency networks, with the study indicating the crypto could be going green.
The Ethereum post-merge era
Ethereum, one of the most popular and significant crypto, has been cutting back on power consumption since its recent upgrade. According to the recent research by data journal Patterns, since its upgrade, how Ethereum works has used less power, decreasing the consumption by country-sized amounts. The data reveals the amount of electricity reduced from previous consumption is the same amount used by countries such as Ireland and Austria.
Ethereum’s reduced power consumption stems from its recent update from a proof-of-work cryptocurrency. In the 15 September event known as the Merge, Ethereum would switch to a new system called the proof-of-stake. The recent change now alters how Ethereum is mined, with chances of creating a new coin no longer relying on the amount of computing work miners do.
The technical complexity of the switch also changes Ethereum’s power consumption making it less than before. As per Patterns report, Ethereum has cut energy consumption by at least 99.84%, an amount equal to a country’s spent energy. This adds Ethereum to the list of energy-efficient cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin still using more electricity than Finland.
Going green is no guarantee
Despite Ethereum’s energy efficiency look, scientists are yet to be convinced by the cryptocurrency and the community.
Scientists are especially warning that cryptocurrency is yet to own up to its actions, and it’s premature to celebrate. The Pattern research author calls out the early celebration insisting there are concerns about the rest of the crypto assets relying on blockchain-based systems.
Alex De Vries, the research author, warns the Ethereum community should not see this as a complete victory over the existing environmental concerns facing crypto assets as the blockchain-based systems are still inefficient compared to the more centralized alternatives.”
The data scientist and economics researcher from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam reveals that the cut on energy consumption could be due to a shift to creating other cryptocurrencies.
More scientists also weigh in on this, supporting more calls to scrutinize the crypto community’s energy consumption amid environmental concerns.
According to the BBC, Gavin Brown, an associate professor at the University of Liverpool, says:
“Sustainability is an important problem to resolve in the crypto space. To achieve this, the prospect of the new regulation is an important lever.”Gavin Brown, an associate professor at the University of Liverpool
Crypto energy demands facing a crisis
The interest in energy consumption from the crypto community has been a point of debate with legislators and the government looking to get involved.
Legal limits on energy consumption have been among the go-to solutions for authorities looking to cut back energy consumption from crypto. In September 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy presented the option of legal limits as a solution. In the report, the committee suggests legal limits on energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining.
Patterns research author Mr. De Vries reiterates this by saying:
“The Bitcoin community has been very anti-change. But Ethereum’s community has indicated that despite the concerns and resistance, it is possible to make necessary changes to a live blockchain system, which means that Bitcoin’s community may need a little bit of nudge from the outside to make things happen.”Mr. De Vries, researcher at Patterns