I am so glad to start contributing to the space by raising some awareness about the (un)sustainability of POW/mining practices from Ethereum and Bitcoin.
I came up with the idea to calculate energy waste by Bitcoin/Ethereum mines compared to Cardano pools if they used Rasberry Pi’s. My idea came from my worry that climate change and the wastefulness of BTC/ETH mining might impede our progress in the DeFi and Crypto space. I believe that there will come a time, sooner or later, when people realize that BTC mining is contributing to wrecking the planet. This might lead to mines being shut down which will negatively impact Cardano, whether it’s the price or the general public opinion about crypto overall.
(of course there’s also the possibility people realize Cardano is greener and we get some positive attention)
You can find the original Twitter Thread here:
and the newer tweet since there was a mistake in my initial calculation here:
[INTRODUCTION and HYPOTHESIS]:
Cardano has a significant potential to become the go-to “green crypto” since it is the frontrunner in the POS (proof of stake) space. The potential is great, since even smaller devices such as Rocks or Raspberry Pi’s can generate new ADA, as pools do not require a strong CPU such as those in Bitcoin warehouses. With only 4GB of recommended RAM and a stable internet connection as basic requirements, the following can be assumed:
Cardano will use many times less energy if we adopt a home setup that involves a Raspi or a similar device.
Raspi max wattage = 5W
Hours per year = 8766h
Consumption (for one Raspi) = 8766h * 5W = 43830 Wh
Total consumption if we all switched to Raspi = 1100 pools * 2 nodes * 43830Wh = 96426000 Wh *1
Bitcoin mines consumes 77.78TWh for their rigs (equivalent to consumption of Chile) *2
Ethereum consumes 14.81TWh (Equivalent to consumption of Slovenia).*3
We use this information to calculate how many times more energy is consumed by Ethereum and Bitcoin mines at the moment:
Bitcoin/Cardano consumption per year = 77.778*10^13Wh / 96426000Wh = 806,628 times more energy consumed
Ethereum/Cardano consumption per year = 14.96*10^13 / 96426000 = 155,144 times more energy consumed
Bitcoin uses 808 THOUSAND times more energy globally.
Ethereum uses 155 THOUSAND times more energy globally.
This short “study” has shown that there is a great potential in making a low-cost setup available to as many Cardano pool operators as possible. This would improve Cardano in the eyes of the media, and one can market it as “green crypto”. Other than electric energy waste, Bitcoin mining creates significant amounts of Electronic Waste (the size of Luxembourg) and leaves a significant Carbon footprint (the size of Newzealand).*1
However, there are still major issues, such as a stable home internet connection and inability to simply compile Haskell code when using most Raspberry Pi setups.
1* Raspi consumption: https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/5033/how-much-energy-does-the-raspberry-pi-consume-in-a-day ~2* Bitcoin per Annum Consumption: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption ~3* Ethereum per Annum Consumption: https://digiconomist.net/ethereum-energy-consumption
I hope you enjoyed this format and my little “study” that took a few days to research. I hope to make more like this one in the future and show that Cardano is a great alternative to BTC, ETH and other POW cryptos. I am aware that this isn’t a perfect study, but given the time I hope it shed some light on the improvement that Cardano is to the crypto space. Let me know what you think of the format and the content.
Happy new year and stay safe everyone!
Matt from DeFi Authority