Proof-of-stake is a 'solution' to Ethereum’s environmental woes: Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin argued that Ethereum’s upcoming transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism is a “solution” to the blockchain’s rampant energy consumption that has been incensing critics lately.

Proof-of-stake is a 'solution' to Ethereum’s environmental woes: Vitalik Buterin

In the interview with StartmeupHK in a virtual conference hosted from Hong Kong, Buterin said that while proof of stake is “still in its infancy and less battle-tested” than Ethereum’s current proof-of-work model, it will ultimately decrease chain’s energy consumption by upwards of 10,000x.

The critics came from the rampant comments on blockchain technology for its ecological impact, including from some prominent supporters too. 

Elon Musk recently undertook an about-face in regards to the car company accepting Bitcoin, which works on the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, saying that he could not encourage the use of fossil fuels via Bitcoin mining. 

The Ethereum co-founder directly responded to these comments about scalability in a blog post on his website, laying out the problems with trying to scale by simply tweaking the parameters around blocksize.

Buterin also argued that Bitcoin’s continued use of proof-of-work means that the chain, which is currently the world’s largest, will eventually get “left behind” as users increasingly demand more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly options, a phenomenon he says makes it “possible” that Ethereum eventually eclipses Bitcoin and the largest digital asset.