Goodbye Ethereum's Energy-Consuming Monster

Posted on Saturday, September 24 2022 @ 21:32 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Ethereum coin
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On the Ethereum blockchain, “The Merge" has finally seen the light of day. To put it plainly, a new piece of software has been added to the blockchain of the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin to increase its efficiency in terms of the energy it consumes. The switch should reduce the cryptocurrency's leading software's energy consumption by 99.95%.

Experts calculated that Ethereum's pre-update yearly energy use was around 77 terawatt hours, which is on par with the annual electricity use of countries like Austria or Chile. After the upgrade, the coin’s electrical needs are less like those of a state and more like those of a small town of 2,000.

A Crypto Market Revolution

A cryptocurrency revolution has begun. The Ethereum Foundation has pledged to reduce the environmental impact of its blockchain by switching to a less power-hungry algorithm, so the transition was everything but simple. The due date, however, has been pushed back more than once.

The problem stems from keeping the blockchain’s transaction records safe, even when using auto trading Binance, is challenging.

In contrast to centralized databases like government registries or bank account balances, decentralized blockchains don't rely on a third party (like a bank or government) to verify the legitimacy of transactions. This task is carried out in a group setting on the blockchain.

The Determinant for Confirmation

Prepayment is required for everyone wishing to participate in the Blockchain upgrade. Those who refrain from attempting to alter the data are the only ones who will receive a token reward and their money back.

There is a wide variety of potential upfront expenses. Bitcoin and, until recently, Ethereum used the "proof of work" method due to the need for computational effort.

Since Bitcoins and Ether tokens are worth more than the price of power, they make a good choice as a reward.

Recently, Ethereum has altered this system, requiring users to stake Ether tokens in exchange for more cryptocurrency. No longer do we need to do time-consuming calculations at enormous mining farms.

Reducing Electronic Waste

The public's opinion of crypto could shift as a result. Cryptocurrencies have been panned ever since their inception for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the following:
  • Their potential to facilitate money laundering and criminal behavior.
  • Their potential to threaten the supremacy of central banks.
  • Their potential to violate financial sector laws.
Yet, the most significant criticisms are the excessive energy use and the resulting climate damage.

Before the shift, the Ethereum network produced the equivalent of Hong Kong's annual CO2 emissions or 43 million tons.

With 78 million tons, Bitcoin is slightly bigger. Ethereum's "The Merge" also significantly ameliorates global warming by significantly reducing emissions.

The fact that "proof of work" currencies require specialized equipment to mine is another crucial aspect of the cryptocurrency business that is often disregarded.

The cryptocurrency mining industry generates vast quantities of electronic waste due to the rapid degradation of these components under continuous usage and the requirement for new equipment due to increasingly complex computing operations.

There are an estimated 38,000 metric tons of annual electrical waste from only the Bitcoin network.

It Is Quite Improbable That Bitcoin Will Convert

Ethereum runs on commercial graphics cards, but the technology behind Bitcoin mining has limited value outside of the cryptocurrency industry.

It is possible that a large number of Ethereum tokens could soon appear on the secondary market and be put to use, provided that miners do not abandon the cryptocurrency in favor of another.

Simply because supporters of various cryptocurrencies don't agree on whether or not they should "The Merge." A sizable portion of the population, especially Bitcoin enthusiasts, despises the term "crypto" and any association with lesser-known cryptocurrencies (called "shitcoins").

They consider Satoshi Nakamoto's unheralded code to be organic and refer to themselves as "Bitcoin Maximalists." In addition, they believe the superiority and security of the energy-intensive "proof of work" method since the energy is tied to a tangible value in the coins.

For instance, software company founder and self-proclaimed maximalist Michael Saylor thinks that the criticism of Bitcoin's environmental impact is being orchestrated by "promoters and lobbyists" of other cryptocurrencies to deflect attention away from the fact that "proof of stake" is nothing more than "unregistered securities" traded unregulated to the detriment of private investors.

The switch from Bitcoin to the more sustainable "proof of stake" is not simple, though. In addition, most miners would need to agree to the modification in the Bitcoin code, and they see no incentive to switch from their current payment source.

A rise in political and energy-crisis-related pressure is expected to be exerted on the most prominent cryptocurrency in light of Ethereum's proof that cryptocurrency may be booming without contributing to climate sin.

As a result of Ethereum's "The Merge," the only other cryptocurrency in the top 10 is Dogecoin, a parody currency that still uses "proof of work."