# The Energy Efficiency of Ethereum after The Merge Upgrade
Ethereum is one of the major cryptocurrencies in the world, and for many years, its energy consumption has been a hot topic of discussion, just like Bitcoin mining. However, Ethereum took a big step towards solving the problem of energy consumption by switching from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake in September 2021. This article explores how Ethereum has gained improved energy efficiency after The Merge upgrade.
## What Is The Merge Upgrade in Ethereum?
The Merge is a significant upgrade that Ethereum underwent in September 2021, and it has brought a fundamental change in how Ethereum operates. Unlike before the upgrade, where Ethereum relied on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol to verify transactions on its blockchain, it now relies on the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.
## The Significance of the Merge Upgrade
The Merge upgrade was vital for Ethereum to address the issue of energy consumption. The energy-intensive PoW algorithm consumed a lot of energy, and this was unsustainable in the long run. According to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Ethereum’s energy consumption has reduced significantly, ranging between 36 kilowatts and 675 kilowatts, a decrease of at least 99.84%.
## Comparing Ethereum’s Energy Consumption before and After The Merge Upgrade
Before The Merge upgrade, Ethereum’s energy consumption was higher due to the PoW consensus algorithm. According to the CCAF, Ethereum 1.0’s energy consumption in September 2021 was estimated at 21.41 terawatt-hours (TWh). However, after The Merge, the PoS network’s energy consumption has reduced significantly, with the current consumption at approximately 5.76 gigawatt-hours (GWh), estimated to be between 1.87 GWh and 13.76 GWh.
## The Visual Representation of Ethereum’s Energy Consumption Before and After The Merge Upgrade
Before The Merge upgrade, Ethereum 1.0’s energy consumption was relatively high, but after The Merge, Ethereum’s energy consumption was significantly reduced. The CCAF used a visual representation to explain this concept. The energy consumption of Bitcoin was compared to a 679-meter-high skyscraper, while Ethereum 1.0’s energy consumption was equivalent to the height of the London Eye, which is 135 meters high. However, after The Merge upgrade, Ethereum’s energy consumption was compared to that of a raspberry, which is merely 1.5 centimeters in size.
## The Safety Concerns Associated with The Proof-of-Stake Protocol
While The Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol has helped Ethereum tackle the energy consumption issue, it is not without its concerns. The security of the network depends wholly on the control of the tokens. If an individual or group manages to acquire enough ETH to control the network, it may become vulnerable to attacks. In contrast, Bitcoin is much more challenging to attack due to the amount of hardware required, making it more secure than Ethereum.
In conclusion, Ethereum’s energy consumption has reduced significantly after The Merge upgrade. The PoS protocol’s efficiency has significantly contributed to the decline in energy consumption. However, there are still concerns regarding the PoS protocol embedded within the Ethereum network that cannot be ignored.