The world’s largest smart contracts platform Ethereum is responding positively to the general public and blockchain community’s call for increasing energy efficiency and reducing environmental impact of decentralized systems. In a blog post titled “A country’s worth of power, no more!” written by Carl Beekhuizen and posted on May 18, the Ethereum’s green initiative was put forward by the foundation, which will see the network’s power consumption decrease by 99.95%!
This revolutionary milestone, signalling a new era in smart contracts computing will be achieved by the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 and Ethereum’s shift to Proof of Stake (POS) from the current inefficient, power hungry Proof of Work (POW) algorithm. According to the energy consumption data comparison, Ethereum 2.0 will utilize around 0.001-0.002 Giga Watts (GW) of power against 5 GW for current Ethereum setup and almost 14 GW for the Bitcoin blockchain!
How much power does it take to run a beacon node (BN), 5.4 validator clients (VC), and an eth1 full-node? Using my personal setup as a base, it’s around 15 watt. Joe Clapis (a Rocket Pool dev) recently ran 10 VCs, a Nimbus BN, and a Geth full node off of a 10Ah USB battery bank for 10 hours, meaning that this setup averaged 5W. It is unlikely that the average staker is running such an optimised setup, so let’s call it 100W all in.
– Excerpt from the A country’s worth of power, no more! on the power consumption of a single validator node
A Proof of Stake (POS) arrangement is more than 2000X power efficient than the current Proof of Work (POW) energy guzzlers and of course has negligible environmental impact, if at all! Ethereum 2.0 will have the power usage, equivalent to a small town, against that of a medium sized country currently. Plus POS networks ensure that the token issuance is much smaller compared to POW, because of the significantly lower validator running costs and hardware. The security of the network isn’t reliant on electricity, but rather the worth of the ETH staked.
About Ethereum 2.0
Ethereum 2.0 is the next big upgrade for the Ethereum network. It will bring Proof of Stake (POS), eWASM and sharding. It will reduce the resources, required to run the Ethereum network, as well as bring scalability and performance improvements.
The Eth2 upgrade will be implemented in three phases. The first Phase 0 Beacon Chain launched on Dec 01 ’20 and introduced the staking feature. This will be followed by the Phase 1 in Q1 2021, which will introduce sharding and allow data to be stored on shards, however transactions can’t still be processed.
The Phase 2 will make the Ethereum 2.0 truly complete and the network operational, after its introduction at some point in 2022. It will bring the Ethereum WebAssembly (eWASM) replacing the now operational Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Only after the Phase 2 has been rolled out, proper execution of smart contracts and transactions can commence on the new Eth2 chain. The Eth1 and Eth2 chain will gradually merge with each other.