Energy consumption of any man-made system has to be sustainable especially in the 21st century. While there is an increase in climate change crisis, CO2 emissions, etc., there is a need for highly sustainable, energy efficient man-made systems.
Blockchain technology comes to mind, when we think of recent man-made systems. Blockchain technology is changing the very core of the business landscape. The distributed ledger technology or blockchain as we call it, is exponentially growing in its use. Numerous applications today are being built on various blockchains, however, as companies continue to build on blockchain, it will be important to understand the energy consumption of blockchain and its impact.
Blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many more consume a lot of energy. The high energy consumption is due to the high security provided by the network, but at what cost? The energy consumption of Bitcoin has surpassed the energy consumption of many countries like Switzerland.
The energy consumption of a blockchain network depends on the consensus protocol upon which the blockchain network is built.
Bitcoin is the first P2P exchange built on blockchain technology in 2008 and the consensus protocol is based on HashRate based Proof of Work. Current estimates suggest that the total energy expenditure for Bitcoin has surpassed energy consumption of nations like Switzerland and the Czech Republic. To know the exact figures, 1 transaction to get validated in Bitcoin network, the network consumes
- 420 Kilowatt-hours, which is equivalent to powering an average American home for two weeks or powering 15 average Indian homes for two weeks.
- equivalent to burning 360 tons of sugar.
The advantages offered by blockchain technology are numerous, despite the strength of decentralized networks, based on proof of work, to migrate from trust imposed by a third party to proven and distributed trust. The energy consumption of the HashRate based Proof of Work (i.e. Bitcoin) which is 420 kWh for the validation of a single transaction is clearly a barrier to its widespread adoption. Even in the medium term, this massive energy consumption prevents large-scale use of this technological revolution, both for its profitability where the minimum cost of electricity consumed for a miner is 2$ per transaction and for the number of power plants that would have to be deployed for its mass adoption.
Other solutions or consensus protocols (in the fig above) have emerged such as Proof-of-Stake, DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph), and many more. But these consensuses pose an obvious problem, for example the Proof-of-Stake poses the problem of centralization and governance while DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) poses the problem of data availability.
Uniris network stands out due to its relentless focus on data availability and on the inclusive, global and decentralized spirit of proof of work (while not being based on HashRate PoW).
Energy Consumption of Uniris Network
- 3.6 Billion times less energy then Bitcoin
- 308 million times less energy than Ethereum
- 60000 times less energy than EOS
- 0.42 Wsec per transaction
- Equivalent to burn one tenth of a gram of sugar.
The calculation below, although theoretical, is based on the first results obtained and the assumptions considered are as follows:
Daily Consumption of a Uniris node working at 100%: 15Wh (e.g. Intel NUC i3)
- In a most conservative hypothesis for sake of calculation, consider ten nodes are dedicated for 10 seconds to validate and replicate a transaction (the current figures for validation of a transaction are less than 1 second for a single node and around 100 ms for the replication).
- The number of transactions on the Bitcoin network is 93 million transactions per year with an energy consumption of around 38.7 TWh/year.
The number of transactions validated by 10 nodes per year in Uniris
365.4 × 24 × 60 × 6 = 3,157,046 transactions (becoz 10 nodes are dedicated for 10 sec to validate a transaction)
The number of nodes required to handle the current yearly Bitcoin transactions
93,000,000 ÷ 3,157,046 = 29.45 sets of 10 nodes
29.45 × 10 = 295 nodes
Just, 295 nodes are required by Uniris network to cover the current performance of the Bitcoin network.
In terms of energy consumption of Uniris network wrt Bitcoin network,
295 × (365.4 × 24) × 15 = 38,805 kWh/year
This low energy consumption is further complimented with the highest security.
Uniris is not only a pioneer in low energy consumption, but also in
Scalability => Capability to handle UNLIMITED transactions per second
Traceability => Zero knowledge proof
Decentralized => Randomness ensures complete decentralization
Sustainable and Green Solution => Energy consumption is 3.6 billion times less energy consumption than Bitcoin
Physical and Cyber Access Management => Uniris blockchain is coupled with 'Public Biometric Identification' (Patented)
DApps Compatibility => Market Place, Identity Management, etc.