One of the most contentious issues in the blockchain space is environmental sustainability. Over the years, the Bitcoin network has been rocked with debates surrounding the high energy demands of its proof-of-work algorithm.
One of the main selling points of the Polkadot network is environmental sustainability. A Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute (CCRI) report analyzed the carbon footprint and the electricity consumed by six networks running on a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus.
Polkadot has the lowest carbon footprint
The six PoS protocols analyzed in the CCRI report include Algorand, Avalanche, Cardano, Polkadot, Solana, and Tezos. These protocols have different hardware and software requirements, and the level of scalability offered also differs.
The report by the CCRI managed to provide an estimate for the electricity consumed per node. The Cardano network had the lowest electricity consumption per node, and Solana had the highest electricity consumption per node.
After gathering the data about the networks’ size, the CCRI assessed the electricity consumed by these networks annually. The Polkadot blockchain had the lowest electricity consumption, while Solana had the highest consumption.
The other factor assessed was the carbon emissions on these networks. The carbon emissions made by a network after accessing the energy needed to secure and finalize transactions can determine the environmental impact. The CCRI calculated the carbon intensity on the six PoS networks’ grid to measure the carbon footprint.
In the US, the average household uses around 10,600 kWh annually. Polkadot consumed the least amount of electricity, which was 6.6 times higher. Solana consumed electricity that was 200 times higher than the average US household.
Polkadot has been analyzed several times, with each report concluding that it was the most environmental-sustainable network. However, it is essential to consider other factors before concluding on Polkadot’s carbon footprint, including the location of the network’s nodes, the distinct energy features between countries, and the efforts made by the team to be environmentally friendly.
Shortly after this report, the Polkadot team allocated 993,286 DOT tokens to help with continuous efforts to promote sustainability. Such measures could see Polkadot emerge as a top choice for web 3.0 & crypto developers looking to support efforts combating climate change.
Ethereum transitions to PoS
The Ethereum network currently runs on the traditional PoW consensus. However, the Ethereum development team has been working on a roadmap to transition Ethereum to PoS and reduce the network’s energy demands by 99%.
The Merge, which will see Ethereum transition to PoS, is slated to happen on September 19 this year. As the Merge edges near, Ethereum’s price has recorded a remarkable recovery as more people buy ETH in anticipation of a rally after the Merge.
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