Ethereum Energy consumption, Carbon Footprint Reduce 99.99% after Merge

The Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute (CCRI), a research-driven institution providing carbon estimates for investments in cryptocurrencies and technologies, has issued a report showing that Ethereum Merge, which was successfully completed last night, has drastically reduced the blockchain network’s overall energy consumption.

According to the report issued on Thursday September 15, Ethereum’s energy usage and carbon footprint have both dropped even more than anticipated after the Merger upgrade.

The report said Ethereum now uses approximately 99.99% less energy after the merge was completed. It further mentioned that the blockchain’s carbon footprint has also fallen by over 99.99%.

In the past, the Ethereum Foundation estimated that the merge would cut the network’s energy consumption by approximately 99.95%.

The CCRI report disclosed that Ethereum’s overall electricity consumes just 2,600-megawatt hours per year, compared to 23 million megawatt hours before the merge. As a result, Ethereum’s estimated annual CO2 emissions have fallen from over 11 million tons to just under 870 —less than the combined total of 100 average American homes, per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In a statement yesterday, Uli Gallersdörfer, CCRI co-founder and CEO, said that Ethereum’s “green credentials” are now at par with other energy-efficient blockchain networks that started with a proof-of-stake consensus model, rather than transitioning to it as Ethereum just did.

However, Ethereum’s move to proof of stake (PoS) consensus model has not gone well with some industry stakeholders. Ethereum miners, who used to run powerful computers to secure the network and earn ETH rewards through mining, have moved on to mine cryptocurrency on other networks.

Miners have moved their powerful rigs to other blockchain networks like Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ravencoin (RVN), and Ergo (ERG) to do mining.

Why the Merge Is Important

Ethereum’s switch to proof of stake has been planned since 2014, before the official deployment of the blockchain. Due to its technical complexity and the increasingly large amount of money at risk, the upgrade has been delayed several times.

The Merge is part of what in the past was called “Ether 2.0,” a series of upgrades that reshape the blockchain’s foundations.

The move, known as “the Merge,” is of huge consequence. The major network upgrade, which saw Ethereum transition from PoW to PoS, was designed to address concerns about its environmental impact, dramatically improve its transaction speed, and boost the value of Ethereum, among other improvements.

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How to create an environmentally-friendly coin, explained

With cryptocurrencies, every time a transaction takes place, it is broadcast to every computer on the network, and this interconnected system verifies the transactions. Mining inefficiency, causing the environmental costs, threatens the notion of blockchain as a long-term enterprise solution. 

Thankfully, efforts are well underway towards environmentally friendly digital assets, and we are seeing rapid innovations in this space. Proof of stake is now forming the foundation of newer protocols such as Cardano (ADA) and XinFin (XDC). 

The XDC Network is supported by masternodes that are responsible for block creation. The platform XinFin is a resilient blockchain protocol that integrates seamlessly with older systems and can bypass some of the major problems that centralized platforms face.

With a native coin based on delegated proof of stake, the XinFin’s XDC Network is now in a position to achieve the ultimate performance without relying heavily on power consumption. XinFin bridges the gap for all enterprises wishing to avail themselves of decentralized applications. Founded in 2017, the XinFin Network is now positioned as a top enterprise blockchain, partnering with institutions to provide outstanding technology that improves infrastructure across a wide range of industries by using advanced smart contracts. XDC greatly reduces its energy consumption and so its carbon footprint.


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Bitcoin Accelerates the Development of Renewable Energy for Bitcoin Mining

El Salvador’s decision to use volcano power to mine Bitcoin (BTC) was propelling the leading cryptocurrency’s quest to accelerate the development of renewable energy, according to CNBC.

Therefore, this approach was boosting Bitcoin’s carbon footprint of making crypto mining green.

Precisely, El Salvador’s move into volcano-powered BTC mining made the case that Bitcoin can act as an accelerant to renewable energy development. Geothermal energy is renewable, clean, and in some places, it makes use of a previously untapped resource.

Late last month, Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, posted a video with the caption “first steps” accompanied by a volcano emoji via his Twitter account, showing that the nation began its project to use geothermal energy from volcanoes for bitcoin cryptocurrency mining.

The video footage showed a glimpse of a new volcanic geothermal Bitcoin mining facility being built in El Salvador, the first nation to legalize Bitcoin as legal tender.

Investing in sustainable crypto mining

According to Bradley Rettler, a philosophy professor at the University of Wyoming:

“Every Bitcoin miner decreases the profitability of all others. Every miner using renewable energy decreases the profitability of all the ones using carbon-based energy. So, if you want Bitcoin to be greener, invest in sustainable mining.”

At the start of this month, El Salvador had mined 0.00599179 BTC or approximately $269 using power harnessed through a volcano. 

El Salvador has been continuously setting foot in the crypto space, given that the nation previously bought 150 new Bitcoins pushing its accumulation to a total of 700 BTC. 

Bitcoin transaction volume continues to spike

On-chain metrics provider Glassnode noted:

“Bitcoin entity-adjusted transaction volume spiked in the last few weeks, ranging from between $13.8B and $16.0B. These elevated volumes have been sustained in this range for 3 weeks. The current volume is only slightly less than the ATH of $16.8B set on the price ATH in April.”


Glassnode added that substantial transactions dominate the current transaction flow. Moreover, 2021 has seen notable growth in large-size transaction ($100K+) dominance as institutional capital, and higher prices have lifted USD denominated value.

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Crypto Firm NYDIG Unveils Massive Report on Bitcoin Energy Use – Here’s Its Conclusion

The New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) just released a major research report analyzing the environmental impact of mining Bitcoin (BTC).

The report entitled “Bitcoin Net Zero” weighs the implications BTC’s potential to improve “civilizational progress” against its carbon footprint.



The report assesses Bitcoin’s future carbon footprint in a variety of scenarios – including an extremely bullish scenario in which the Bitcoin network consumed a higher amount of energy.

According to the report,

“Even in our most aggressive, high price, scenario, in which Bitcoin reaches $10 trillion by 2030, its emissions amount to only 0.9 percent of the world’s total, and its energy outlay is just 0.4 percent of the global total.

Many miners are increasingly focused on minimizing the carbon emissions associated with their activities by purchasing offsets, procuring renewable energy, favoring locations with renewable energy, and using otherwise wasted energy, such as curtailed hydro power and flared gas.

Over the longer term, the intensity of Bitcoin’s carbon emissions… will decline, as the development of renewables continues and countries strive to decarbonize their electricity grids.”

The 70-page impact study concludes that the “overall prospects for the decarbonization of Bitcoin mining over the coming decades are quite promising.”

It also compares Bitcoin’s potential against other safe-haven commodities such as gold, while at the same time considering the societal benefits which cryptocurrencies could bring to humanity.

“By providing a sound new monetary system, independent of government, Bitcoin can provide value to billions of people…

Against a backdrop of increasing financial surveillance and global monetary instability, the case for Bitcoin as a monetary safe haven and neutral settlement network grows ever stronger.”

NYDIG is the Bitcoin arm of Stone Ridge, an alternative asset management firm valued at over $10 billion.

The topic of costly energy consumption has dogged Bitcoin, with China cracking down on mining earlier this year. Last week, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) cited the need for regulation to counter cryptomining’s environmental impact.

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Recent Analysis Compares Waste From One Bitcoin Transaction To Throwing Out Two iPhones

There have been many studies that have highlighted the carbon footprint and electricity usage problems of Bitcoin transactions. Founder of Digiconomist Alex de Vries and researcher at MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Christian Stoll, released a new study that shines a light on the electronic waste that Bitcoin generates.

Related Reading | How Elon Musk Is The Answer To Bitcoin Energy FUD

This study, “titled Bitcoin’s growing e-waste problem”, provides new insights into another major component of Bitcoin’s wasteful design.

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The Electronic Waste Problem Of Bitcoin

Most studies have ignored the fact that Bitcoin miners go through a large amount of short-lived hardware that could increase global electronic waste growth.

“E-waste represents a growing threat to our environment, from toxic chemicals and heavy metals leaching into soils, to air and water pollutions caused by improper recycling.”

According to the study, a single transaction generates 272 grams of e-waste, the same amount of electronic waste as throwing two iPhone 12 minis in the bin. In 2020 the bitcoin network processed 112.5m transactions (compared with 539bn processed by traditional payment service providers in 2019).

bitcoin electronic waste generation

bitcoin electronic waste generation

“Bitcoin’s annual e-waste generation adds up to 30.7 metric kilotons as of May 2021,” they claim. “This number is comparable to the amount of small IT and telecommunication equipment waste produced by a country like the Netherlands.” This figure could increase to more than 64.4 metric kilotons of waste.

They also point out that the demand for mining hardware already today disrupts the global semiconductor supply chain, which is currently suffering a global shortage due to increased need in the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a US-China trade war and drought in Taiwan.

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Additionally, Bitcoin mining has evolved from a simple activity done on a laptop to a complex and very expensive game done through powerful ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits). These ASICs are specifically designed to mine crypto transactions. And as technology changes, miners have to constantly replace their ASICs with newer, more powerful ones to stay competitive. Therefore, these single-purpose ASIC chips quickly become waste. According to the researchers, “The lifespan of bitcoin mining devices remains limited to just 1.29 years,”

Researchers in Europe and the U.S. also claim that miners have been dumping tens of thousands of tonnes every year of ASIC rigs and contributing to the ever-growing environmental challenge.

Alex and Stoll also warn that the e-waste problem will probably grow further if the price of the cryptocurrency continues to rise since it will incentivize further investment in and replacement of ASIC hardware.

Related Reading | Why Bitcoin Could Rise To $53K, Here Are The Risks Bulls Must Overcome

If the community were to try to reduce its e-waste problem, the paper concludes, it would need to replace the bitcoin mining process in “its entirety with a more sustainable alternative,” One of those alternatives is “proof of stake” instead of “proof of work”, as an experimental replacement. “The first miner who finds a PoW [proof of work] that satisfies predetermined conditions broadcasts the block to all nodes in the network. The receiving nodes express their acceptance of the new block by building on top of it”, the paper explains.

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IBM Partners Mitsubishi for Blockchain-Based Carbon Tracking Project

IBM Japan is collaborating with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to launch a blockchain-based solution for the tracking, capture, and re-usage of CO2. Dubbed CO2NNEX, the CO2 tracking platform will be powered by IBM’s blockchain technology while Mitsubishi will be responsible for managing the physical infrastructure that captures the gas, according to reports on August 17, 2021.

Towards a Carbon Neutral World

While carbon dioxide (CO2), an acidic colorless gas 53 percent denser than dry air, is useful in the manufacturing sector for the making of several products including fire extinguishers, carbonated drinks, and more, experts have warned that excess CO2 in the atmosphere may pose huge threats to mankind, including climate change and serious health challenges.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), climate change is the biggest challenge we humans face in the 21st century, and the organization, in collaboration with its partners, is championing the cause towards a net-zero world by 2050.

Now, IBM and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), a Japanese multinational engineering, electrical equipment, and electronics corporation, are now aiming to contribute their bit to global CO2 reduction in the manufacturing sector via the CO2NNEX project.

IBM Making CO2 Useful with Blockchain

Per sources close to the matter, CO2NNEX will leverage distributed ledger technology (DLT) to track the capture and re-usage of CO2. The team says the CO2NNEX system is designed to accurately trace the collection and distribution of CO2 in a transparent manner, thereby making it easier for businesses to achieve carbon neutrality.

The team also plans to create a carbon marketplace where buyers and sellers of the gas can transact before the end of 2022. IBM will be in charge of the blockchain aspect of the project while Mitsubishi will create the physical infrastructure that will be used by manufacturers to capture their CO2 emissions during their manufacturing operations.

IBM successfully conducted a proof-of-concept for its blockchain-based CO2 tracking solution earlier in May 2021 and both teams are now working round the clock to roll out the complete solution by 2022.

Blockchain technology, the bedrock of bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, is increasingly being adopted by firms for CO2 traceability.

As reported by BTCManager last January, Mercedes Benz’s Daimler AG conducted a blockchain pilot for CO2 emissions tracking across its cobalt supply chain.

More recently, in July 2021, the National Australian Bank joined forces with other multinational firms to launch a carbon offset marketplace powered by the Ethereum blockchain.

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Mastercard NFTs will help consumers offset carbon ‘down to a cup of coffee’

Leading payment technology provider Mastercard will help consumers directly offset carbon emissions and choose better products for the environment via its blockchain-based Provenance Solution.

The system provides such granular detail that consumers can choose a more environmentally friendly cup of coffee, or a sustainable T-shirt, by interacting with the carbon credits directly related to that item, as represented by a nonfungible token and unique marker.

Speaking on April 21 as part of the Australian Blockchain Week, Ashok Venkateswaran, Mastercard’s Head of Digital Assets and Blockchain APAC, discussed how the company is working to track the carbon footprint of its partners and incorporate the data into its blockchain-based product tracking technology:

“We’re developing partnerships with potential companies which are producing this carbon neutrality, carbon credit so to speak, and as we build up this relationship, we can acquire these carbon credits from these farms, and finally adding that into our provenance solution, we’re able to track it.”

Mastercard’s Provenance Solution was built on its proprietary blockchain and was developed to assist brands in tracking the journey of products to provide visibility to the supply chain process.

Venkateswaran noted that the move to carbon tracking follows a growing trend of Australian consumers who are asking “for a lot more transparency on what they’re putting into their body.”

He further explained that once the company is tracking and storing the carbon footprint on its blockchain, it can break it down into the level of a “coffee cup or even a t-shirt,” and provide evidence to the consumer that the carbon emissions have been offset:

“So every time you purchase a bag of coffee or have a cup of coffee, you’re actually using or putting back into the system the number of credits that are just tagged at a particular cup of coffee or a bag of coffee that you buy.”

“So at the end of it, you know, we’re using technology, which is out there using the data which is available to bring everything together to make a direct impact on the environment,” he added.

According to Greening Australia, a carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide that has been removed from the atmosphere. Companies offset their emissions by purchasing the equivalent amount of carbon credits.

As part of the discussion, Fresh Supply Co. CEO and co-founder David Inderias announced a collaboration that will see Mastercard’s provenance tech deployed at the Sydney Writers Festival between April 26 and May 2 to record and offset carbon emissions from coffee consumed via its partnered vendors at the festival. Fresh Supply will run the backend technology, while client interface C2Zero attaches carbon credits to products, for example a 1500 gram carbon allowance is added via an NFT to a bag of coffee sold by The Little Marionette coffee company.

Inderias went on to note the significance of the technology:

“So this is notable because it’s reaching down to the specific good. It can be three liters of milk. It could be a cup of coffee, it could be sunglasses, it could be a T-shirt. The carbon footprint of that product will be offset with full integrity upstream.”