Proof-of-Stake vs. Proof-of-Work Blockchains

Proof-of-Stake vs. Proof-of-Work Blockchains

Proof-of-Stake vs. Proof-of-Work Blockchains. A solution to the environmental concerns around blockchain mining? I’ll explain in the simplest terms possible how Proof-of-Stake works to illustrate why it could offer advantages in making blockchain computing less energy-hungry. There are other effects of it to consider too.

A solution to the environmental concerns around blockchain mining?

One of the most common concerns expressed by those who doubt the merits of blockchain technology is the energy it uses. It’s a topic that fascinates me and one that I’ve read and written about in a bid to increase my understanding and add balance to my perspective.

Estimates vary but a study by the University of Cambridge estimates the annualised consumption of energy by Bitcoin (for example) to be in the region of 133.65TWh — approximately 0.6% of global energy usage.

Responses to such figures vary — those within the Bitcoin community point out that the justification for such energy depends on a value judgment — whether the technology serves a useful purpose or not. As a potential alternative to the conventional financial establishment and the world’s FIAT currencies, the energy consumed by Bitcoin could be seen as minimal — Ark Investment Management estimates that this is less than 10% of the combined energy used by the conventional banking system, for example.

Regardless of the justifications provided by blockchain enthusiasts and whether or not these satisfy the critics, most agree that excessive energy usage is not a good thing. We’re all concerned for the long-term future of the planet and the threats presented by climate change are significant — any measures that can reduce energy usage would seem to be a good thing.

One such measure is the idea of a Proof-of-Stake blockchain — a technology that will feature within The Docking phase of the upgrade of Ethereum to Ethereum 2.0, scheduled for 2022.

Within this article, I’ll explain in the simplest terms possible how Proof-of-Stake works to illustrate why it could offer advantages in making blockchain computing less energy-hungry. There are other effects of it to consider too.

blockchain bitcoin ethereum environment cryptocurrency

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