The energy consumption of Blockchain
Recently, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, posted on Twitter saying that: Bitcoin can consume too much in mining and transaction process, such excessive fossil fuel consumption will result in negative impacts on the ecosystem. The Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also noticed the high power consumption problem in Blockchain technology. He presented that Ethereum would change its consensus mechanism from PoW to PoS to reduce the power consumption caused by the mining process in PoW-based technologies like the Bitcoin. From a global view, energy consumption issues are concerned by an increasing number of countries. To urge the efficient power usage, many countries and organizations have set up environmental protection plans, such as the UN’s SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) and the US carbon neutrality, etc.
In this context, the future development of a technology need to consider the sustainable development and environmental friendliness as one of the important metrics and goals. As an emerging technology for privacy protection, Blockchain presents excellent protection capabilities. However, such capabilities rely on the large-scale computing resources and result in a large amount of power consumption. Part of the reasons for such high power consumption are due to the PoW (Proof of Work) consensus mechanism which has high demands on the performance of the Blockchain nodes.
Besides energy consumption, other concerns of the consensus mechanism
The technology of the base layer of the Blockchain has the advantages like anonymous, Immutable, decentralized and so on. To achieve these advantages, Blockchain enhances the privacy and protect the transaction process by increasing the cost of network participation. The core concept of the early-stage PoW consensus mechanism is based on the workload cost. The credibility need to be proved by the cost of a lot of work. In this case, the machines that maintain the ledgers (also referred to as mining nodes) need to continually crack complex math puzzles to obtain Bitcoin as rewards. This computing process not only needs to rely on a large amount of computing resources, but also sacrifices part of the scalability on the Blockchain to ensure safety. When it comes to the boosting growing of transaction volume, this mechanism will not be able to meet high-speed and large-scale processing demands. Based on such limitations of PoW, PoS (Proof of stake) is gaining more and more attention to work as a consensus mechanism with low resource consumption and guaranteed decentralization, safety and scalability.
In a PoS-based Blockchain system, nodes do not have to consume much power to compete for accounting rights. The priority of accounting rights is measured by the amount of stake holdings. In this way, the nodes no longer consume a large amount of electricity to calculate the hash functions, thereby solving the high energy consumption issues in PoW mechanism. In spite of the improved efficiency in PoS, the safety of the mechanism is affected. Therefore, in order to ensure the reliable operation of PoS, the researchers need to develop reliable algorithms from the trade-off among the decentralization, safety and scalability.
Unique advantages of PlatON PoS
With the issues caused by the PoW mechanism has been widely criticized, more and more Blockchain technologies inclined to choose or transit to the PoS-based consensus mechanisms. This results in a boosting growing of the PoS-based Blockchain frameworks in recent years. As the world leader in computing privacy area, PlatON has rooted and researched in privacy computing technologies many years. PlatON’s research and practice in consensus mechanisms are also forward-looking. The PPoS (PlatON PoS) consensus mechanism uses off-chain identity, credit mechanisms and procedural arrangements to provide a scheme to select a number of verification nodes from many participating nodes as fair and randomly as possible. Hence, PPoS can effectively inhibit bribery, collusion, etc., and reduce the consensus cost and improve the system scalability by optimizing technical details. Meanwhile, ensuring the decentralization and scalability, PlatON further enhances the system safety by combining the experiences in computing privacy area. The Alaya network based on PlatON PoS has been operating stably and efficiently for a long time, successfully solving the problem of over-centralization of the system, reducing network communication complexity and message complexity, improving consensus efficiency and the entire Blockchain transaction processing performance. In this case, the safety and liveness of the technology are verified. PlatON has been able to improve its PoS mechanism through its attention to every detail, continuous attempts, active exploration of cutting-edge areas, and forward-looking plans in the future development. Next step, PlatON will continue actively promoting the efficient network operation with high-quality code, providing efficient, high-availability, distributed and sustainable infrastructure applicable for diverse industrial and commercial use cases, and supporting the exchange of data flows in the global world.
1.PlatON has launched the “Rally around the Galaxy” and launched a comprehensive simulation test, https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/UeIRWj2lKJ7b1umSqU8_yQ
2. [Long Article Explained] What is the Giskard Consensus Mechanism? | Technology Cloud Atlas, https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/4yHenrGH0E7zzLBuN58BJg
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Candour Today journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.