Did the Ethereum Merge lower global electricity consumption? Let’s see the data

Key facts:
  • Global electricity consumption was expected to decrease by 0.2% after the Merge.

  • Other GPU minable networks have seen a recent increase in hashrate.

The relationship between electricity consumption and cryptocurrency mining is very close, which is why some members of the Ethereum community claim that the Merge contributed to significantly reducing the amount of energy used in the world.

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, quoted a few days ago to developer Justin Drake when he commented that global energy consumption would fall by 0.2% thanks to the Merge. This statement, expressed in this way, assumes that all miners would turn off their machines forever after the merge and would not mine any more.

The truth is that electricity consumption could have been significantly reduced, but not at the level of mining in general, but of the energy used by the Ethereum network in particular for its operation. This is because the hardware used to mine on this network, the graphics cards (GPUs), is not exclusive. It is possible to mine a vast range of cryptocurrencies with these same teams; so many miners simply migrated to other networks where they could reactivate their rigs.

“To mine or not to mine, that is the dilemma”

CriptoNoticias reported the departure of many Ethereum miners to the Ethereum Classic, Ravencoin, Neoxa and Ergo networks, among others. These networks saw a marked growth in their hashrate in the days around the Merge, both before and after. Nevertheless, the profitability of mining these cryptocurrencies is much lower than the one offered by Ethereum at the time.

The sum of a profitability always lower than that of Ethereum, a cryptocurrency market with a downward trend, the rise in the cost of electricity in many countries and the gradual increase in the difficulty of mining as more miners arrive, have led many of these migrant miners to turn off their rigs again, as CriptoNoticias comments in a recent article.

For the moment, Drake’s prediction may be coming true and the electricity consumption of mining after the Merge has been reduced quite a bit. However, the moment of truth would come when some of the cons that miners currently face change. It could be a change in the market trend, a drop in electricity prices or a favorable mining difficulty adjustment that allows us to actually measure how many miners moved away forever and how many only transferred their energy consumption to another network.

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