A new incentive model for mining and validating
The Casper Network is looking to bring clean-energy solutions to the DeFi sector. The environmental impact of mining has become an important topic as mainstream interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies continue to grow. Blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum rely on Proof-of-Work algorithms to complete the cryptographic calculations required to mine, thus resulting in high energy costs.
Nobody doubts that blockchain is a powerful and disruptive technology, but its energy footprint has become unsustainable at the current pace. As the world attempts to become more efficient overall blockchains such as Casper are attempting to break away with a new USP.
Casper Network’s Proof of Stake architecture introduces a powerful alternative that significantly reduces the amount of energy consumed per transaction. As the Highway Protocol outlines, Casper enables a new incentive model for mining and validating that drastically cuts the amount of energy required per transaction, even at scale.
Put to the test
Recently, Casper wanted to gauge how energy efficient they were against other layer one protocols. This resulted in developers running a power usage comparison. They started by looking at the power consumption of a single node with the Casper Network. Typically, CPU and RAM are the predominant power consumers from an idle state to a full load status for a node, and the recommended specs to run a Casper Network node are 32GB of RAM and 4 cores. As AWS instances are scaled with both vCPU and RAM in a family, the RAM is included in the factors.
The researchers assumed an average power draw of the node to be 200W. Which is at least 8 times the real value for a cloud host and most likely at least double that of a local purpose-built server. They then calculated the hourly usage of the Casper Network at 400 nodes x 200W or 80,000W (80 kilowatts) per hour. At 8760 hours per year, this equates to just 700,800 Kilowatt-hours per year of operation for the Casper Network’s total energy consumption.
In comparison, Ethereum has been reported to consume 39.73 Terawatt-hours annually and Bitcoin has been reported to use a whopping 95.54 Terawatt-hours yearly. In a nutshell, Casper looks to be a very energy-efficient solution. Using this chart for comparison, the report concluded that the Casper Network at 400 nodes is 47000% and 136000% more energy efficient when compared to Ethereum and Bitcoin respectively.
Partnerships show promise
The latest partnership was announced today, as Casper Labs partnered with QuEST. This publicly traded enterprise will use Casper Network to build a future-proof supply chain solution in Web3 environments. During the pandemic legacy supply chain solutions have revealed many shortcomings, which QuEST and Casper Labs will solve.
Energy consumption and efficiency are just part of Casper’s march toward a more efficient blockchain solution for decentralized finance and other applications. Firstly, a partnership with PlasmaPay has been established. This will hopefully advance retail access to the Casper network and CSPR token. Mainly through fiat ramps, chain integration, and wallet infrastructure. PlasmaPay is a global digital payment platform and should assist Casper in achieving its desired level of adoption through easy onboarding.
Secondly, a partnership with ACDX has been confirmed to try and redefine derivatives. ACDX is a cryptocurrency exchange offering structured products. Through the integration with Casper, ACDX will allow users to accurately predict and guard for gas price spikes in derivatives trading, which is currently one of the biggest pain points for derivatives traders on other protocols.
Earlier this year a partnership with BIGtoken, a privacy-focused, opt-in data marketplace where people can own and monetize their data has been announced. BIGtoken will migrate its infrastructure to the Casper Network to benefit from the Casper Network’s combination of high throughput, low gas fees, and decentralized governance.
These four announcements, although staggered, couldn’t be more relevant for Casper right now. Energy consumption will certainly become a bigger issue as the blockchain and DeFi industry move forward. Vitally, the fiat onramp provided by PlasmaPay should ensure Casper can reach its desired level of adoption now that its mainnet is live. Moreover, through building a partnership with QuEST, the Casper Network gets its use-case scenario for real-world problems. This underlines Casper Network’s ability to deliver the goods, literally.
Furthermore, none of the above means much without addressing another high riding issue in the community right now – data privacy and protection. It’s hoped the partnership with BIGToken can provide peace of mind and monetization options to Casper users in the long term.
The first quarter of 2021 has been good for the Casper Network. Having now achieved consistent momentum with partners they appear to be growing their global footprint. Most importantly, the Casper Network launched its mainnet on the 30th March 2021. As Casper further establishes itself as a Proof-of-Stake blockchain the network has big ambitions to shake up the DeFi space.
What is Casper
The Casper Network is a proof of stake blockchain optimized for developer adoption and dapp creation. Casper is the first blockchain built off the Correct-by-Construction (CBC) Casper specification. This allows the network to create sustainable new markets and unlock value by tokenizing nearly any asset, but without compromising performance or security. Activity on Casper is governed by CSPR, the network’s native token.
Getting Started with Casper
The Casper Developer Portal provides developers with resources to start building applications and smart contracts on Casper. Check out the Casper documentation and join the conversation on Discord and Telegram!