Proof of Stake (PoS) is a consensus protocol within a cryptocurrency distribution network. It is intended to give greater scalability to those transactions carried out within the network of cryptocurrencies. This type of protocol arises in 2011, being a kind of «consensus algorithm» used by blockchain technology, being used for distributed networks to ensure the operations of some cryptocurrency by requesting «proof of participation.”

Reduction of electricity consumption

The Ethereum Foundation, within its analytical studies, has determined that by implementing proof of stake (PoS), the electricity consumption of the network would be reduced by 99.95%, which represents a great energy saving. Such measures will make the network more efficient through the implementation of new operating properties. According to a recent report by the Ethereum Foundation, once the network transitions to version 2.0 and begins to operate under the Proof of Stake (PoS) model, the operation of its blockchain network may observe a considerable decrease in electricity consumption.

Estimates of electricity consumption

To support the thesis of reducing energy consumption, the Foundation estimated based on the number of validators participating in its smart contracts for version 2.0. In this estimate, he excluded addresses associated with exchanges and staking services created to participate in this mining mechanism. There is an estimate of 87,897 validators to date, and each one (on average) runs about 5.4 validation nodes; if we assume that those 5.4 nodes consume about 100 watts, the calculations estimate that the Ethereum network would consume about 2.62 megawatts in total, which represents the amount of energy needed to run about 2,100 average homes.

Proof of Stake (PoS) means less consumption than Proof of Work (PoW)

Under the consensus algorithm Proof of Work (PoW), it is estimated that the Ethereum network is currently consuming about 44.49 TWh per year (5.13 gigawatts continuously), which is a relevant amount in comparison with the average consumption of a medium-sized country. Although the PoW makes the Ethereum blockchain network one of the safest, the problem is that it involves enormous energy expenditure, which has the ability to leave an environmental footprint. By moving from PoW to the PoS algorithm, the network will be 2,000 times more efficient (energy) than its previous version, reducing electricity consumption at an operational level by 99.95%.

Time for implementation

The expectations for Ethereum with this change are very encouraging. Still, sadly, the developers say that we are months away from seeing the implementation of the PoS system that would improve the operation of the Ethereum network; currently, the responsible teams continue to work on each of the corresponding phases to arrive at these changes in energy consumption.

Criticism of Proof of Stake (PoS) in Ethereum

Although this change has many points in favor from the energy point of view, the truth is that not everyone agrees with the “stakeholder tests” since they affirm that this change’s decentralization would be affected by this change. Among these detractors is Vijay Boyapati, who mentions that “proof of stake does not replace the current politically motivated financial system. On the contrary, it is a politically motivated financial system, wrapped in a thin layer of cryptography’; he also mentions that’ proof of work ‘is the only way to separate money and state.

What do you think about this topic? Do you think it is important to reduce the electricity consumption of the Ethereum network?

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