April 17, 2024

This is an opinion editorial by Level39, a researcher focused on Bitcoin, technology, history, ethics and energy.

The notion that Ethereum’s recent “Merge,” from proof of work to proof of stake, reduces energy consumption by 99.95% is a myth. Nevermind that this calculation excludes expensive enterprise server farms, corporations and the increased work involved in completing proof of stake transactions on a global scale. Follow the money — the cost to make a transaction has not plummeted. Fees aren’t expected to decrease, and any part of the security budget that was previously used to purchase energy for machines will instead be used to purchase energy for Ethereum’s ruling class — negating much of its lower energy bill.

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