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University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 150/2023, 26.10.2023

Energy-efficient blockchains

Prof. Dr Jens Strüker, Professor of Business Informatics and Digital Energy Management, and his team have created a guide for the development of blockchain-based data infrastructures. With ten concrete measures, the energy consumption of decentralised networks can be decisively reduced.

Researchers from the University of Bayreuth, the Future Energy Lab of the German Energy Agency (dena) and Fraunhofer FIT have today (26.10.2023) published a comprehensive guide to the challenges and solutions for the energy-efficient use of blockchain technology: "Rethinking Blockchain's Electricity Consumption - A Guide to Electricity-Efficient Design of Decentralized Data Infrastructure" provides essential support for the design of blockchain-based data infrastructures and presents ten measures for energy-efficient applications of this technology. The guide can be downloaded free of charge from dena's Future Energy Lab website.

"Blockchain technology promises to significantly accelerate the decarbonisation of the energy system. However, extremely high energy consumption in particular has prevented this so far. This also applies to the general increase in the trustworthiness of digital services such as the rapidly growing number of ChatGPT requests," says Prof. Dr Jens Strüker, Professor of Business Informatics and Digital Energy Management at the University of Bayreuth, who was the scientific supervisor of the study.

A central point of the guide is the recommendation of alternative consensus mechanisms to the energy-intensive proof-of-work. This is the consensus mechanism that underlies the Bitcoin blockchain, among others, and is known for its high energy consumption. By using these alternative consensus mechanisms, the energy demand of an entire blockchain network can be reduced by more than 99 percent. In addition, the study contains ten further measures that not only help to further reduce the energy consumption of the network, but also take into account the specific requirements of different use cases.

"The study provides essential basics for the energy-efficient use of decentralised data infrastructures. These can now be applied in various areas, such as the development of digital product passports from batteries to food, the creation of verifiable CO2 certificates for electricity, water and heat, energy trading in neighbourhoods or even the digitalisation of public administration. In addition, the study presents for the first time a graphical model of the electricity consumption of blockchains, which offers a comprehensible and practical orientation aid for energy-conscious decisions for both experts and laypersons," says Strüker.

Jens Strüker

Prof. Dr. Jens StrükerProfessor for Business & Information Systems Engineering and Digital Energy Management

Phone: +49 (0)921 55-4712
Mail: Jens.Strueker@uni-bayreuth.de

Jennifer Opel

Jennifer Opel (on maternity/parental leave)Deputy Press & PR Manager

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5357
E-mail: jennifer.opel@uni-bayreuth.de