ConsenSys, an Ethereum-software firm that helped engineer the Merge, is co-launching with 18 other firms the Ethereum Climate Platform (ECP) at COP27’s UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub. (COP27 is short for 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC. UNFCCC is short for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. COP27 runs Nov. 6-18 in Sharm el-Shiek, Egypt.)
The platform is built for the Ethereum ecosystem, and will aim to mitigate the excess energy consumption that the blockchain used before it went through the Merge in September.
“The idea is to gather a bunch of capital and invest the capital into technologies that can have a significant positive impact” Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys and a co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain told CoinDesk. “I anticipate that this group will want to fund projects that are not old style, legacy technology projects but do think about how they build systems."
The Merge saw Ethereum swap out its old energy-intensive model from PoW to proof-of-stake (PoS). Under PoW, Ethereum was powered by miners, which competed to solve cryptographic puzzles to add transactions to the digital ledger. Under PoS, Ethereum uses validators to approve and add blocks to the blockchain, which burns less energy. Since the Merge, Ethereum has reduced its energy consumption by 99.9%.
“The Merge set a new and extremely high bar for climate mitigation across the entire business and financial sector. It demonstrated that through sheer force of collective will, we can successfully drive technological decisions that massively reduce carbon output,” Lubin was quoted in a press release.
Mining has received backlash from regulators due to its environmental harm. The European Commission shared in October that it was prepared to shut down crypto mining in the event that Europe faces a dire energy crisis this winter. In addition, regulatory bodies such as the European Union have proposed to limit PoW in the EU. China banned Bitcoin mining in 2021.
Some PoW chains, like ZCash and Dogecoin, have shared that they are looking to switch to PoS because of energy concerns.
UPDATE (Nov. 17, 13:30 UTC): Added "co-launching" in 1st paragraph
UPDATE (Nov. 17, 13:44 UTC): Added "co-launches" in title
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