Although Ethereum will go through the consensus mechanism”proof of work” (PoW) to “proof of stake” (PoS) with version 2.0, becoming more and more energy efficient, the energy cost of current transactions on its network is still controversial. In a reports on NFT published by Cointelegraph Researchwe talk about the most energy-efficient blockchains for non-fungible tokens and it turns out that the Ethereum network has a very significant impact.
Not that we don’t know it, but the comparisons are striking, also because NFTs are an increasingly popular phenomenon, on which many are throwing themselves a little, even the video game sector with giants like ubisoft. It is therefore natural to wonder the impact of all this on a more important aspect than ever, the consumption of energy (often obtained from not exactly clean sources).
Based on block chainan NFT is a special type of cryptographic token that it represents the title deed of one unique property. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, an NFT cannot be replicated but can be bought and sold like any other asset.
“The Ethereum network currently uses more energy than Costa Rica uses in an entire year. To put all of this into perspective, a single Ethereum transaction requires around 30 kWh (kilowatt hours), which is equivalent to powering a US home for a full day. Transactions of 100 Ethereum are equivalent to driving around 390 kilometers in a Tesla Model 3“.
In practice, moving a single Ethereum requires the energy needed for a Tesla to travel about 4 kilometers. “More than 80% of sales currently go through the Ethereum network [di NFT] despite high fees that often exceed the price of NFT,” the study reports. workarounds such as Flow, Tezos and Wax are becoming increasingly popular due to costs and lower energy consumption”.
A transaction on the Tezos network requires 0.0016 kWh or lessan amount of energy needed “by charge an Apple tablet for 10 minutes. Transactions of 100 Tezos equivalent to driving by 100 km with a Tesla Model 3 and the energy cost of the entire Tezos network is the equivalent of what two American households need in an entire year”. For the record, Tezos is based on a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, just like the future ETH2 , guaranteeing transactions more than 35,000 times more efficient than those on the Ethereum network during this year.
In the case of Ethereum, the energy consumption it is mainly related to the cost of maintaining the network and not to the number of actual transactions. The PoW consensus-based blockchain depends on a large number of individual miners contributing to the hash rate of the network in order to keep it secure.
In order to compare the consumption between different blockchains, the total energy consumption was divided by the number of transactions carried out by the network in a day. In the case of Ethereum, total power consumption is the product of the average daily hash rate and an estimate of hardware efficiency. The results were then annualized.
In the case of Tezos, it was necessary to proceed differently, because the energy consumption of a PoS network does not depend on the hash rate. The calculation is based on the total energy consumption for each day and multiplies it by the number of active delegates, which is the number of active bakers (the creators of the blocks) multiplied by the daily energy consumption of each baker.
The results of the study confirm the previous ones: there is a huge difference in power consumption between PoW and PoS blockchains. “This means that creating an NFT on Tezos is roughly equivalent to using a hair dryer for 2 seconds, while creating an NFT on Ethereum is equivalent to using it for more than 20 hours.”