Green IOTA, Measuring IOTA PoW ’s Energy Consumption and Comparing with other Payment Systems

Green IOTA Report

Comparing IOTA Energy Consumption per Transaction (ECPT) with Bitcoin and Ethereum is funny but in this report, we measuring IOTA PoW ’s ECPT and comparing the result with VISA and Master Card payment systems. The result show IOTA PoW ’s ECPT is less than VISA and Master Card payment systems and IOTA network is more efficient but we have some constraints.

VISA & MasterCard Energy Footprint per Transaction

According to VISA corporate responsibility and sustainability report in 2017, the company consumed a total amount of 680,560 GigaJoules of energy globally for all its operations (1). We also know VISA processed 111.2 billion transactions in 2017 (2). Rely on these numbers, VISA ECPT is 0.0017 kilowatt-hours and for simplification 100,000 VISA transactions consume 170 kWh.

Also according to MasterCard sustainability report in 2017, MasterCard data centers, which process MasterCard transactions, consumed approximately 45 million kilowatt-hours of energy. MasterCard switched 65.3 billion transactions, processing each transaction with approximately 0.0007 kilowatt-hours of energy (3) and for simplification 100,000 MasterCard transactions consume 70 kWh.

Note that MasterCard Only reports its data centers energy consumption but VISA report all part of company. VISA data centers continued to represent 54 percent of the total consumption of electricity (1). However, we able to say VISA data centers consume 91.8 kWh for 100,000 transactions.

These estimates of VISA and MasterCard ’s energy consumption includes only theirs switching and data centers; the merchants, banks and any others involved in processing transactions consume additional energy that is not included.

Table 1- Visa and MasterCard ECPT

Experimental; IOTA PoW’s Energy Consumption

In this experiment, we used three types of the mid-range smartphone with different processor and Android version that show in table 2;

Table 2- Types of the smartphone used in experiment

Evaluation of Trinity Wallet application

In this section, we measure the power consumption of Trinity Wallet with Batterystats. Batterystats is a tool included in the Android framework that collects battery data on device. We can use Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to dump the collected battery data to development machine and create a report with using Battery Historian tool (4).

We sent iota token for 25 times respectively with each device. This measurement includes; Sync Account, Preparing Inputs / Outputs, Validate Receive Address, Get Transaction to Approve, Complete Proof of Work, Final Validating, Broadcasting which steps of sending iota token in Trinity. The average result of this evaluation is shown in Table 3.

Table 3- Result of the Evaluation of Trinity Wallet Power Consumption

According to table 3, Trinity Wallet consume approximately 0.00011 kilowatt-hours for each transaction and for simplification 100,000 IOTA transactions consume 11 kWh in Trinity wallet.

Note and Limitations

Result of table 3 does not include the IOTA Nodes and IOTA Coordinator energy consumption. However, we look at the amount of energy that consumes in VISA and MasterCard ’s data centers and don’t consider the whole company. VISA and MasterCard report were for 2017 and According to past reports, their consumption will grow. Our experiment is low level and It is better to add the component to Trinity Wallet for measuring the energy consumption. Also, you should know the IOTA consensus mechanism will be changing in the near future and we don’t know how many transactions per second able to handle with IOTA.

Conclusion

This report investigates VISA and MasterCard payment systems and experiments Trinity Wallet energy consumption for sending the IOTA token and result shown in figure 1 for 100,000 transactions.

Figure 1 –Payment Systems Energy Consumption for 100,000 transactions

Figure 1 shows that IOTA with PoW mechanism is consuming less energy than other popular payment systems and IOTA is more efficient.

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Reference

1. VISA Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report, 2017, https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/download/corporate-responsibility/visa-2017-corporate-responsibility-report.pdf

2. VISA Annual Report, 2018, https://investor.visa.com/annual-report-meeting/

3. MasterCard Sustainability Report, 2017, https://www.mastercard.us/content/dam/mccom/global/aboutus/Sustainability/mastercard-sustainability-report-2017.pdf

4. https://developer.android.com/studio/profile/battery-historian.html

Amir Abbaszadeh Sori

Written by

PhD student, IOTA Ecosystem Researcher

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