MareNostrum 4 supercomputer in Barcelona. The energy consumption of blockchains can be reduced, while processing speed and stability can be increased at the same time. The secret lies in an approach that is very common in supercomputers.
The crux of the solution lies in the parallel processing of the calculations. To do this, the blockchain network must be divided into small pieces in so-called chards. As a result, the processing speed can be scaled up by a factor of 1000 and the energy consumption decreases by a factor of 500.
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The improvements to blockchain technology are desperately needed if it is to really play a significant role in society. The energy consumption is irresponsibly high and the speed at which transactions can be processed is far too low. This is most evident in a popular application of the blockchain: cryptocurrencies. Waves is well known in crypto.
Credit card companies can now process 50,000 transactions per second, while Ethereum can process up to 15 to 20 per second and Bitcoin 7 to 10, explains Leonardo Bautista – researcher at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) – in an article on ZDNet. Moreover, mining Bitcoins costs about 110 Terawatt hours per year, comparable to the entire energy consumption of a country like Sweden or Argentina.
Super computer helps
Bautista has been working on blockchain issues with the Ethereum Foundation since 2018. He can use the Marenostrum supercomputer that is set up in a chapel of the institute for supercomputing. The problem of high energy costs also plays a role in the supercomputer. Several strategies to reduce that consumption have already proved successful, such as the use of massively parallel processing. But the use of energy-efficient processors from the smartphone industry is also promising and may also help solve the problems of blockchain technology. Holo (HOT) is well known in crypto.
Bautista’s team has also been working on a bot called the Kumo Crawler, which scours the Ethereum peer-to-peer network for bugs and malicious behavior. Both innovations come in Ethereum 2.0, the new standard expected to arrive in 2022.