Bitcoin’s Energy Use is a ‘Skyscraper’, Ethereum a ‘Raspberry’: Research

Lavina Daryanani
Source: TheStreet

Proof of Stake related models uses significantly less energy when compared to their Proof of Work counterparts. Proponents batting for sustainability have time and again debated about why protocols need to shift to the former. The Merge upgrade marked the onset of Ethereum’s PoS consensus mechanism era. Ethereum’s energy consumption has drastically dropped after the PoS shift. The University of Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finance [CCAF] uniquely contextualized the same.

According to the study, if Bitcoin’s energy use is assumed to be Kuala Lumpur’s Merdeka building, the second-highest in the world [679 meters], then Ethereum’s PoW consensus system would stand around the height of the London Eye [135 meters]. However now, with the shift to the PoS model, Ethereum has reportedly “shrunk to the size of a raspberry.”

Also Read: Bitcoin: WEF Video Showcases Mining, But Omits ‘B Word’

Pre-Merge, Ethereum Consumed More Energy Than Switzerland’s Yearly Figure

Alexander Neumüller, Research Lead for Digital Assets and Energy Consumption at CCAF, said in a recent interview,

“If I go out on the street now and ask, ‘Hey, what is 100 terawatt hours? What is six-gigawatt hours?’ people don’t know. So we have tried to contextualize it in the form of pictures, specifically with the buildings and, of course, the raspberry. This makes these magnitudes very clear without an understanding of energy notations.”

According to CCAF’s calculations, Ethereum will now consume about 6.56 GWh of electricity per year. It is interesting to note here that the annual electricity consumption of the Eiffel Tower is 6.70 GWh. On the other hand, keeping the lights turned on at the British Museum would need around 14.48 GWh of power.

As reported in an article recently, the Bitcoin mining industry consumed an aggregate of 161 TWh of electricity last year. Notably, the power consumption was higher than in countries like Sweden. In fact, the network consumed 1,738 kWh of electrical energy on average for every transaction processed on the blockchain. To contextualize, the same amount of electricity could power an average U.S. household for two months.

According to the CCAF, Ethereum’s energy consumption for mining summed up to 58.26 TWh between 2015 and the Merge. Conversely, Switzerland’s yearly electricity consumption stands a bit lower at 54.88 TWh.

Also Read: Bitcoin Mining Industry Consumed More Power Than Sweden In 2022