Currently, a single Ethereum transaction consumes as much electricity as an average U.S. household uses in a workweek—and has a carbon footprint equivalent to 140,893 Visa credit card transactions or 10,595 hours of watching YouTube. So this is how big the problem is. (Please, don’t accept any misinformation you can find about global warming. These are the real data.)
And how many transactions are we talking about?
In July 2021 it was more than 1.1 million transactions per day, which is more than Bitcoin.
The issue is proof of work. Proof of work is more secure than proof of stake, but it's slower and consumes more energy
Is Ethereum 2.0 coming out? Promises, promises…
Ethereum was first launched in summer 2015, and they have made the promise since then, they will change to proof of stake.
To have a better understanding of what is the difference between the two consensus protocols which are proof of work and proof of stake, I suggest you go on the Ethereum website where you will find a great explanation.
Initially slated for a 2019 release, Ethereum 2.0's first phase launched on 1 December 2020. However, with two phases still to go, the full release is not estimated to happen until 2022. The most recent information we have for the current ETH plans come from the EIP-4345 Difficulty Bomb Delay.
Is Ethereum 2.0 delayed?
Ethereum is implementing an upgrade called Arrow Glacier. This will delay to June 2022 the onset of a “difficulty bomb” that could halt mining of the Ether (ETH) token. Ethereum is shifting from a proof of work to a proof of stake model. Ethereum 2.0, or ETH2, is not a new cryptocurrency, but that new model. So we could expect some changes this year. I’ll keep an eye on that!
What do people think about the major problem?
Joseph Pallant, the founder of the nonprofit Blockchain for climate foundation, said that figuring out the culpability of NFTs is a little like calculating your share of emissions from a commercial plane flight. But if you hadn't bought the ticket, the plane probably would have taken off with other passengers and polluted the same amount anyway. So me trying to not mint any more NFTs is not changing anything. Because if I don't mint NFTs, others will.
Some people will say, the ecological footprint of Ethereum on the planet is much less compared to plastic waste for example. That is true! But we are at the beginning of a technology that already has an impact on global warming, and it should be an issue because it’s a technology that is growing fast. So compared to other things that contribute to global warming, it may be very little. But it has to change before the problem gets bigger. Also, it’s not because it’s killing a little of the biodiversity that it is less wrong.
Some might think that if they contribute to a non-profit organization, they are doing their part. Which is good. But that is certainly not enough. Bleached Rainbows said on Twitter in May 2021: Thinking like this, was the equivalent of setting a house on fire then placing a single potted plant on the burned property as compensation.
Personally, I know for a fact that in the biodiversity world, when something is destroyed, it’s gone forever. The best plan is to stop global warming and take action to make damn sure we don’t harm the planet anymore.
Sylvia Earl is a Scientist and an Ocean Explorer, and she said that we are privileged because Einstein did not see what earth looks like from outer space, Einstein did not know what the ocean looks like. But we have that chance to know, and we are lucky in our lifetime to be able to access this great knowledge and understand what a miracle it is to be able to live on earth. And the power we have to share this all around us. She also said that there is no place like earth around us. There are no elephants on Mars nor tuna fish on the moon. We are blessed with a beautiful planet. And now we know that it is now in trouble because of us. And it’s good to know that there is a problem because we can start to do something about it, and nothing is stopping us to do something about it except our will.
I will be talking about the solutions to make NFT more eco friendly in another article!