It was fascinating talking with Alex de Vries, the founder of the cryptocurrency energy index Digiconomist, recently to talk about the sustainability of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
Some key takeaways:
1. Empirical evidence shows the extremely high energy demands in proof of work networks, such as Bitcoin
2. Ethereum's merge to proof of stake is significant because it shows that change to more sustainable options is possible if there is a willing community
3. Decentralised systems will always be more energy consumptive than centralised systems but the trade-offs need to be weighed up.
It is also a fast evolving space and we are likely to see more research into calculating the energy consumption of proof of stake networks as well as reactions from regulators and policy makers.