— DTC Guest post by Gil / edited by NT / MP
Concern about the ecological effects of NFT…. “According to an estimate backed up by independent researchers, the creation of an average NFT has a stunning environmental footprint of over 200 kilograms of planet-warming carbon, equivalent to driving 500 miles in a typical American gasoline-powered car.” – NY Times
Ethereum 2.0, is going green!
Concerns about the ecological effects of NFT’s and mining Ethereum have been on the rise, but Ethereum is trying to provide a solution. This solution comes in the form of it’s 2.0 release, which will change how ethereum works on a fundamental level. But how, and why, are they changing it from the current system?
Solving the problem…
Right now, Ethereum is mined in a similar way to Bitcoin, computers are given difficult problems, and if they solve them before other competing computers, they help verify transactions on the network. In return for helping run the network and solving the problem, the participating computers can get crypto. This system is known as a proof of work system, because computational work is done to validate transactions and mine crypto. The problem with this system is that the computational work required to solve these problems is immense, though that alone is not a problem, the large amounts of electricity required to keep the computers running is.
Ethereum’s solution to this problem is switching from a proof of work system, to a proof of stake system, where a validator’s ability to validate things is determined by their stake in the system, and instead of creating crypto, they collect transaction fees. The advantage of a proof of stake system is that transaction fees are lower, and less electricity is used by the network.
Eth2 contains another large change, sharding. Sharding is the splitting of the ethereum network, in order to decrease congestion. This is because each shard is like it’s own mini network, and if someone is validating on a shard, they do not need to store the data of all of the transactions on the network, which is necessary right now.
So Eth2 uses a proof of stake system, and sharding, but how do we get to there, from where we are right now? Well a roadmap for the release of Eth2 has been provided for us, and we are already in the first stages of it’s release.
New Eth2 Release
Eth2 will be rolled out in 3 separate stages. The first stage is the creation of the beacon chain, the beacon chain uses a proof of stake system. Next, the shard chains will be created inside of the beacon chain. Finally, the ethereum mainnet will be incorporated into the beacon chain.
The first stage has already been released, and the following stages are coming soon. But there is still some uncertainty as to the functionality of the shard chains. Mainly, whether or not they will be able to run smart contracts. There are three distinct possibilities for shards, as currently outlined on the ethereum 2 website.
The first is that shards can’t run smart contracts, and function as data depots. The second possibility is that some shards can run smart contracts, and others can’t. And the final is that they revisit this issue when truly anonymous transactions are possible.
No matter what happens, Ethereum 2.0 will be much greener because it is more efficient. Digital Trading Cards will be on the forefront of everything green, because we believe in doing the right thing. Period.