Ahead of Ethereum’s highly anticipated switch to proof-of-stake (PoS), cyber security firm Cloudflare is set to launch and fully stake Ethereum validator nodes over the next few months.
It aims to study energy efficiency, consistency management, and network speed of the PoS network as part of its commitment to environmental sustainability and to help "build a better internet."
Cloudflare was founded in 2010 and provides web security services such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation to protect clients from DDoS attacks.
Cloudflare said it was experimenting with the “next generation of Web3 networks that are embracing proof of stake,” with Ethereum being the first in line for the company.
At this stage, it appears the Merge and transition to a PoS consensus mechanism is slated to go live by Q3 or early Q4, barring any further delays, with Cloudflare noting that this will lead to “significant energy efficiency improvements” for the network.
According to a May 16 blog post, the firm will launch and fully stake Ethereum validator nodes (32 Ether required per node) over the next few months. It did not specify how many nodes, or a specific start date.
“Cloudflare is going to participate in the research and development of the core infrastructure that helps keep Ethereum secure, fast, as well as energy-efficient for everyone.”
“These nodes will serve as a testing ground for research on energy efficiency, consistency management, and network speed,” the blog post adds.
The firm said the tests relate to its commitment to the environment and helping pave a path “that balances the clear need to drastically reduce the energy consumption of Web3 technologies and the capability to scale the Web3 networks by orders of magnitude.”
Cloudflare noted that Ethereum’s upcoming upgrades will significantly reduce its energy consumption as it shifts away from the environmentally “challenging” proof-of-work model, which has been at the forefront at Web3 adoption but does “not scale well with the usage rates we see today.”
“The energy required to operate a Proof of Stake validator node is magnitudes less than a Proof of Work miner. Early estimates from the Ethereum Foundation estimate that the entire Ethereum network could use as little as 2.6 megawatts of power. Put another way, Ethereum will use 99.5% less energy post-merge than today.”
While the firm did not outline which project it will focus on next, it teased that it will be working with partners across “cryptography, Web3, and infrastructure communities” moving forward.