Crypto Solana (SOL), a good student from an environmental point of view?

In winter, the electricity grid is “under tension” in many countries! This inevitably brings the issue of energy consumption back to the table. In this area, cryptocurrencies and their energy-intensive mining activities often “electrify” the debate. However, not all cryptocurrencies are the same from an ecological point of view. Crypto Solana (SOL) is one of the good students from an environmental point of view.

Source: Adobe / Aleksandra Sova

Solana (SOL), an ecological crypto?

Solana has integrated environmental constraints into its development. Thus, beginning in May 2021, the network paid for the services of Robert Murphy, energy and climate advisor. The objective of this collaboration is to quantify the environmental impact of Solana’s activities. The Solana Foundation has published a report on the energy consumption of the SOL network.

The document establishes that a transaction in the Solana network consumes 0.00051 kWh or 1836 Joules. Much or not? To realize this, the report puts this figure in perspective with other very classic activities, such as.

  • Light an LED lamp for one hour: 36,000 J;
  • Working for an hour with a computer and a screen: 46,800 J;
  • Watching TV for one hour on a 40-inch (100 cm) or larger LCD screen: 540,000 J.

Therefore, a transaction on the Solana network is much cheaper than many day-to-day activities. The report also mentions that a Google search consumes 1,080 J. In other words, according to the report, a transaction at the Solana consumes less than two Google searches!

Would Solana do much better than Ethereum 2.0?

But where does Solana stand compared to other cryptocurrencies? The report mentions some figures to compare Solana with Ethereum and Bitcoin, for example. A transaction on the Bitcoin network would consume 6,995,592,000 J, in other words, millions of times more than on Solana! With its POW model, it’s no wonder Bitcoin is less eco-friendly!

But what about Ethereum? In its current version with the POW, a transaction in Ethereum consumes according to the report 692,820,000 J! In its version 2.0 equipped with POS, consumption would rise to 126,000 J. In other words, according to the report, even after the deployment of POS (in 2022), the Ethereum network would still be more energy-intensive than Solana. Once again, these figures are provided by the Solana Foundation and not by an independent actor.

Altogether, Solana’s network includes 1,196 validators and around 20,000,000,000 transactions. On the energy side, this represents a consumption of 11,051,066 kWh per year according to the report, or the equivalent of the consumption of approximately 1,038 American households.


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