Cardano on the Rocks – an Energy efficient Staking Pool


Energy-efficient operation

The aim in developing this Cardano stakepool was to demonstrate the minimal computing requirements needed to achieve proof-of-stake consensus in a real mainnet and production environment.

The ARM CPU architecture used is known for its energy efficiency and economy. The same technology is used for mobile phones and now even in Apple’s M1 notebooks.

Energy efficient Proof of Stake Pool hardware

Our prototypes have been running permanently since 2019 and have gone through all the development stages of the testnets up to the Cardano mainnet. Currently, one of the three is running as a real, active stakepool. The blocks it produces are transferred to the global Cardano network by the two upstream relays.

The following graph shows the continuously measured energy consumption of the block-generating node. You can see that it normally gets by with less than 5 watts of energy consumption.

Low power consumption for energy-efficient blockchain operations

Such low energy consumption allows the CPUs to be cooled purely passively – without fans or air-conditioning.

If we add up the two relays and the block-generating node, the energy consumption is less than 15 watts.

The security of traditional consensus mechanisms of proof-of-work based blockchains is fundamentally and therefore inevitably based on the use of a lot of energy (work). The effort to maintain this security increases directly with the growth of users and the associated economic power.

With Cardano’s Proof of Stake technology, it is not necessary to invest massively in hardware and energy supply to create more blocks. Any ADA owner can delegate their balance to a stake pool without tying it up permanently or losing control of it.

The more delegations a pool acquires, the more blocks it produces. The energy requirement for this, however, remains unchanged at a low level. This is one of the main advantages of innovative and ingenious technology that can contribute to the progress of mankind and the solution of existing environmental problems.