Ethereum migrated to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism from proof-of-work (PoW) on Sept 15. It completely changed the way the blockchain verifies transactions, secures its network, and mints new coins.
All of these changes have led to an instant and steep fall in electricity consumption for the network. Data from Digiconomist shows immediately a day after Sept 15, the power consumption on the network fell from May’s high of 93.98 Terawatt-hour (TWh) a year to just 0.01 TWh a year.
Before the Merge, the power consumption in January was around 10 TWh annually, but it kept on increasing until hitting the peak in May due to higher network usage. On Dec 26, 2019, the network recorded its lowest energy consumption at 4.75 TWh per year.
Since the Merge, Ethereum’s energy consumption has continued to remain low, hovering at around 0.01 THh a year. As a result, the blockchain’s carbon footprint has fallen by an equivalent value of 99.9% to 0.1 million tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2) per year.
Per transaction basis, the electricity consumption is now at 0.03-kilowatt hour (kWh) with a carbon footprint of 0.01 kgCO2. According to Digiconomist, this is equivalent to electricity used by spending two hours on Youtube.
The Merge, seen by many as a landmark event in the history of cryptocurrencies, has also contributed to turning Ethereum’s supply deflationary by burning a portion of every gas fee. Since the Merge, Ethereum’s supply has dropped by 4001 ETH, as of Oct 11, according to Decrypt.
Despite the positives, the community has raised concerns over Ethereum’s growing centralization aspect post the Merge.