The long-awaited merge of the Ethereum network was successfully completed and it had been designed to cut down the overall energy consumption of the blockchain network drastically.
Apparently, it has accomplished this goal, as an initial report showed that the carbon footprint and energy needs of Ethereum have declined more than anticipated.
ConsenSys, the Ethereum-centric software company, had commissioned the report in question from the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute (CCRI).
It claimed that 99.99% less energy is used by Ethereum now, as compared to before the merge. It also suggested that there was also a 99.99% decline in the carbon footprint of the network.
The Ethereum Foundation had previously estimated that the energy usage would go down by 99.95% after the merge.
It cited energy consumption estimates from the site Digiconomist, which belongs to prominent crypto critic Alex de Vries.
However, Digiconomist itself claimed this week that the number was likely to be around 99.98%. The CCRI report indicated that the electricity used by Ethereum was now 2,600 megawatt hours a year.
Before the merge, this figure had stood at 23 million megawatt hours, which means that its annual CO2 emissions have reduced from 11 million tons to 870.
According to the EPA, this is less than the combined carbon emissions of 100 homes in the US.
Chief executive and co-founder of CCRI, Uli Gallersdorfer said in a statement that the ‘green credentials’ of Ethereum were now the same as other energy-efficient blockchain networks.
These networks had been using a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model from the beginning instead of transitioning to it, as Ethereum had done.
As for the press release from ConsenSys, the merge was described as the biggest decarbonization to happen in the history of technology.
However, there is one major caveat that should be noted. While Ethereum has certainly eliminated a lot of its environmental impact, most of its former miners have moved on to mining crypto from other networks.
Ethereum mining pools
The prominent Ethereum mining pools, which combine resources of multiple users, said that they would now use the EthereumPoW (ETHW) network for mining.
This had been forked ahead of the merge from the Ethereum mainnet. Whether it is able to retain interest in the long-term is yet to be determined, but in the short-term, some miners do aim to profit from it.
Meanwhile, the hashrate of existing blockchain networks, such as Ergo (ERG), Ravencoin (RVN), and Ethereum Classic (ETC) saw a surge after the merge.
Again, this means that Ethereum miners have just shifted their powerful rigs from one network to the other.
To put it simply, it means that huge amounts of energy is still being used for crypto mining, whether it is used for Bitcoin, an offshoot of Ethereum, or any other crypto token based on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) model.
But, since it is not just connected to Ethereum, it should assist the network in eliminating the environmental concerns that are now applicable to other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.