Since its launch, the Stellar network has processed billions of operations and millions of payments, reflecting real demand for blockchain technology from fintechs, financial institutions, and developers around the world.
If blockchain will help power a more inclusive, equitable future of finance, it is critical that the underlying technology is also sustainable.
Sustainability and efficiency are integral to the Stellar network by design. Via the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), a low-energy consensus mechanism achieved through Proof-of-Agreement (PoA), the Stellar network is designed to connect financial systems so they can work together seamlessly.
The Stellar Development Foundation enlisted PwC US to develop a framework to assess the electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of blockchain protocols. The first-of-its-kind assessment framework provides a holistic view to inform and enable blockchain and financial services organizations to consider further measurement of their environmental footprints. The figures below were calculated using this assessment framework.
Wh/txn electricity consumed per transaction (1)
kWh estimated yearly electricity use for Stellar Core (program that runs SCP) (2)
kWh estimated yearly electricity use for Stellar Core + Horizon (API layer) (3)
g CO2/txn emissions per transaction (1)
Kg CO2/yr estimated yearly emissions for Stellar Core (4)
Estimated kg CO2 yearly emissions for Stellar Core + Horizon (5)
The Stellar network’s energy consumption has been minimal—but there’s opportunity for continued progress. With these numbers as the baseline for the network’s electricity consumption, the Stellar Development Foundation and Stellar ecosystem can use this data to chart a path forward; to better understand and identify opportunities to refine the technology, further help reduce environmental impacts, and commitment to removing any carbon emissions it cannot avoid.
The Stellar Development Foundation is establishing an ongoing carbon dioxide removal (CDR) commitment, paying for removal of carbon emitted by the network every year.
The Stellar Development Foundation will pay for the removal of the historical carbon footprint of the network since 2015.6
If you’re a member of the Stellar ecosystem and would like to opt in to the carbon dioxide removal initiative, and help reduce the carbon footprint of the network, reach out to us.
Being mindful of environmental impacts and building a culture of sustainability, the Stellar Development Foundation commits to reflecting that as an organization. SDF strives to track, report, and remove travel and event-related carbon emissions as an organization.
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¹As of March 2022
²The equivalent to CO2 emissions of 22.4 US households’ electricity usage per year/EPA.gov/Calculations & References
³The equivalent to CO2 emissions of 40.5 US households’ electricity usage per year/EPA.gov/Calculations & References
⁴The equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 18 gasoline-driven passenger vehicles per year /EPA.gov/Calculations & References
⁵The equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 33.7 homes’ electricity use for one year /EPA.gov/Calculations & References
⁶Electricity per transaction may have been different back in previous years due to smaller network size.