Solana: The lean, clean Blockchain On The Scene
Written by Richard L. Nov.30 , 2021
- The mining of crypto has been proven to be detrimental to the environment.
- A single Solana transaction uses 1,837 joules of energy, while a Google search uses 1,080 J.
The world has been caught up in crypto for years now, some have made millions of dollars and have even changed their lives with Crypto, some have lost it all. With all of the gains and losses, there has been one participant that has constantly taken a loss. That participant — is Earth.
The mining of crypto has been proven to be detrimental to the environment with all of the energy consumption that is involved with mining and transactions. Not many people think about it while they make their money, but then again when has any person considered the earth when there was money at stake? Many people have made comments about the damage that crypto has done to our world due to the outstanding amount of energy needed to mine coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. These platforms utilize a Proof of Work model that causes so much energy consumption.
What Proof of Work means is that the node operators are rewarded with a PoW coin such as Bitcoin or Ethereum for validating transactions on the network by solving highly complex cryptographic computations. These complex computations need a lot of computing power and usually, the rigs created to successfully complete these computations are large and complex and thus consume a lot of juice.
Another system would be Proof of Stake which is basically computational power based on the amount of coin you own. So those that have more coins have more governance and computational power. This takes the power consumption away from the hardware and places it more on the coin or blockchain itself. This method though not perfect does cost less energy than Proof of Work. Solana uses a Proof of Stake mechanism for its growth and transactions.
Solana’s system is so energy efficient that they claim 1 transaction on the Solana blockchain uses less energy than 2 Google searches. A single Solana transaction uses 1,837 joules of energy, while a Google search uses 1,080 J. That may sound like Google still uses less energy, but when you start adding searches up it is quite clear that Google still uses much more energy than Solana does. Let’s compare that to a single transaction on the Ethereum blockchain which has been stated to be 692,820,000 J, while the world’s largest blockchain Bitcoin requires an astronomical 6,995,592,000 J -That’s the same amount of power as running a refrigerator for almost an entire year, for a single transaction.
Lately, Blockchains like Bitcoin have been trying to go green and are often working with alternative energy sources like hydroelectric power plants, but still often consume the surplus energy of these power plants. What this tends to mean is that while PoW is pushing in the green energy direction, Solana still compares so much more favorably when it comes to power consumption than the first generation of PoW Blockchains. The first generation of blockchains still have a very long road ahead of them if they want to catch up with Solana
The more you look at it the more the numbers show just how power efficient Solana is and why transactions cost so little. The numbers show an edge over each of the other blockchains and it is a strong advantage. Solana has been able to achieve this lower power consumption by combining their PoS (Proof of Stake) system with another system titled Proof of History kind of like “a cryptographic clock that enables nodes to agree on the time order of on-chain events before being verified through a PoS method.”(https://forkast.news/headlines/solana-transaction-less-energy-two-google/ Nov. 30, 2021) This system also allows for incredibly fast speeds of transactions.
Ethereum has plans to change over to a PoS system with their introduction of Ethereum 2.0 which has been touted as reducing power consumption by 99.95%. While the upgrade is still in the works and has not been released yet you can be sure that Solana has a very commanding head start. The platform will continue to innovate and with more time there is a chance that the speed and energy consumption can become even more efficient.
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