The world’s second largest cryptocurrency is looking to drastically reduce its energy consumption by 99 percent, as it aims to compete with more efficient blockchains. This is according to a newly released special report by IEEE Spectrum, which also appears in the January 2019 print issue of the magazine.
Ethereum to reduce energy consumption
Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, and most of the hype surrounding cryptos is centered on Bitcoin. However, Ethereum comes a close second and is the second largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of more than $15 billion at press time.
Regarding mining power, Ethereum mining consumes nearly half the power that Bitcoin mining consumes. The huge electricity used for Ethereum mining meant that it consumed as much electricity as Iceland did last year. A transaction involving Ethereum makes use of more power than an average U.S. household uses in a day.
Buterin: “Huge waste of resources”
The founder of the cryptocurrency, Vitalik Buterin stated that “That’s just a huge waste of resources, even if you don’t believe that pollution and carbon dioxide are an issue. There are real consumers—real people—whose need for electricity is being displaced by this stuff.”
Down to 1% by end of year
The 24-year-old Russian-Canadian computer scientist is now looking to reduce some of the energy waste involved in Ethereum transactions this year. In 2019, Buterin, the Ethereum Foundation, and other open-source movements promoting the cryptocurrency will carry out field-test that will change the Ethereum code. If everything goes according to plan, then by the end of the year, Ethereum transactions would require just 1 percent of the energy consumed at the moment.