The energy costs of maintaining the Ethereum blockchain could drop by a factor of 2,000 after switching from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. That’s the estimate given by ETH2 developer Carl Bickhuizen.
According to the specialist, there are currently 140,592 validators in Ethereum’s second version of the protocol, or 87,897 if the stacking services and exchanges are excluded.
According to Bickhuizen’s rough calculations, Beacon Chain’s power consumption is 2.62 MW, including 1.64 MW from standalone stackers.
The first figure is the equivalent cost of a small town in the US for 2,100 homes. In other words, it is not correct to compare it to megacities, individual entities or states as a whole, which is typical of Proof-of-Work.
The developer noted that in the case of Proof-of-Stake, the security of the network increases as the price of the token itself increases, while energy costs remain unchanged. This is not the case with Proof-of-Work, where there is a strong positive correlation between hash rate and price.
Bickhuizen recalled Digiconomist’s estimate of power consumption by Ethereum miners – 44.5 TWh per year. His calculations mean that ETH2’s energy consumption would be reduced by a factor of 2,000.
For clarity, the expert gave an illustration comparing the average per-transaction rate of the bitcoin, ETH1 and ETH2 networks.
ETH2 lead developer Danny Ryan for Bloomberg gave even more optimistic estimates than Bickhuizen: the savings would be 10,000x, not 2,000x.
“I will be happy when the transition takes place. One of my biggest problems will be solved”.
He expressed the hope that the changes will happen by the end of the year. According to sceptics, it is more realistic to aim for the first half of 2022.
“By combining Proof-of-Stake and the growing DeFi ecosystem, Ethereum will continue to take market share away from bitcoin,” said Pantera Capital founder Dan Morehead.