Going Green: Energy Consumption Evaluation Part 2: Proof of Stake Consensus Algorithms

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Disclaimer ODIN’s Blockchain uses a Proof of Stake Consensus Algorithm. If you have not yet read part one evaluating the energy consumption variables of proof of work blockchains, I suggest doing so here.

This article aims at being part two of a three-part series evaluating energy consumption in both the proof of work and proof of stake consensus algorithms vs. that of traditional banking systems and electronic payment processors.

Proof of Work and Proof of Stake Consensus Protocols vs Traditional Banking Systems

Proof of Work (PoW) — A proof of work is a piece of data that is difficult (costly, time-consuming) to produce but easy for others to verify and which satisfies certain requirements. Producing a proof of work can be a random process with low probability so that a lot of trial and error is required on average before a valid proof of work is generated. (Bitcoin.it)

Proof of stake (PoS) — is a type of consensus algorithm by which a cryptocurrency blockchain network aims to achieve distributed consensus. In PoS-based cryptocurrencies, the creator of the next block is chosen via various combinations of random selection and wealth or age (i.e., the stake). (Wikipedia)

Photo origin can be traced to here.

Traditional Banking Systems — A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit.[1] Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords. (Wikipedia)

Energy Consumption Variables in Proof of Stake

This section will evaluate the energy consumption costs associated with the securitization and decentralization of ODIN’s proof of stake consensus algorithm ran blockchain.

Staking via ODIN Blockchain’s Core Wallet

There are a variety of operating systems and minimum hardware requirments needed to run the ODIN Blockchain Core Wallet. This operating system and minimum hardware requirements list can be found here.

Operating Systems Supported

  • Apple’s macOS
  • Microsofts’s Windows
  • Linux Foundations’s Linux OS

Hardware Samples that Meet Current Requirements
While it should be noted that the following do not encompass the totality of hardware configurations that meet ODIN Blockchain’s current Core Wallet requirements, and quite often vastly exceed the requirements needed, they will give us a reference point of energy consumption when evaluating modern hardware that will support our wallet via the previously mentioned operating systems.

  • Apple’s 2018 Macbook Pro 13″ Model

Running a core wallet program requires very little computational power, but for argument’s sake, we will assume that the hardware in question, a 2018 Macbook Pro ran at full throttle 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for an entire year. This would yield a net energy consumption of 350.4 kilowatts of energy for this entire year of limit-pushing computational performance, coming in at a mere 35% energy consumption usage relative to that of just a single BTC transaction, which data suggests can take upwards of 1 Gigawatt (1,000 kilowatts) per an article published by Vice.

Macbook energy consumption figures were sourced here, total energy consumption calculations were figured here.

  • Microsoft’s 2016 Surface Studio

According to data found on Microsoft.com, under its legal energy efficiency disclosure page, the Surface Studio used some 177.3 kilowatts of energy over the course of a year when used under normal circumstances. This energy consumption was higher than five times its next least energy-efficient device, the 2015 Surface Book, per the table found below.

  • Raspberry Pi 3

According to data found in Raspberrypi.stackexchange.com, under even the most extreme use cases, one could expect a yearly energy consumption total not to exceed 35.04 kilowatts of energy.

Is their a consensus amongst the Blockchain community?

The debate rages on as communities have built-in incentivization to believe their consensus algorithm to be superior.HuntingIsland highlighting some of the equivalencies in terms of energy consumption compared to BTC transactions.

In a SubReddit the tweet above was shared to, the following points of contention were made in favor of both consensus algorithms:

  • While Bitcoins’s PoW does use considerable amounts of energy, upwards of 74.1% of this energy comes from renewable sources, making it a leader across all global industries in renewable energy source usage. (Vox.com)
  • Proof of Stake allows for a more egalitarian playing field as the barrier to entry is limited to one’s ability to purchase a stake in the chain via token or coin acquisition, while Proof of Work requires access to some of the most powerful processors, cheap energy sources, and hardware storage space.

About the author

Christopher Reeder is ODIN Blockchain’s Lead Content Strategist and Technical Writer. As an advocate and researcher, he is exploring technology’s impact on privacy.

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Published by Christopher Reeder

Making technology easier to understand.

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