With the changing times, the world is gradually shifting its investment strategies from gold to equity trading and from there to cryptocurrencies. The first decade of the cryptocurrency experiment has flourished far beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. And while leading economists believe it is a game-changing strategy and see it as the future of finance, environmentalists have often raised their eyebrows in the recent past about its environmental impact.
On Earth Day 2022, here’s a quick explanation of how cryptocurrency affects our environment and how the cryptocommunity is moving towards a more sustainable future.
The first generation of cryptocurrencies used so-called Proof of Work, in which individual parties checked the records and transactions stored in the block chain. Although cryptographic trading is completely paperless, the mining process designed to control each transaction required a lot of electricity and machinery to process complex algorithms.
Bitcoin, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, uses about 70,000 computers to run its software and needs about 1997.16 kWh per transaction, consuming almost as much electricity as the average U.S. family in a month.
As a result, sustainable or “green” cryptocurrencies have exploded in the market in recent years in an effort to march towards a cleaner and greener future. Such cryptocurrencies leave a minimal carbon footprint because they do not require a huge amount of energy to process transactions.
These crypts use something called Proof of Stake, which gives you confidence in an older currency: money. This consensus mechanism minimizes the computing power required to verify transactions.
Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum, which has recently switched to proof of contribution, hopes to reduce total energy consumption by 99.95%, as proof of contribution is about 2,000 times more energy efficient than proof of employment. During the transition, Ethereum’s energy consumption is expected to be equal to the cost of running a home computer on each network node. Until recently, Ethereum used 2,000 computers to run its software and spent about 178 kWh per transaction, the equivalent of six days of electricity consumed by the average U.S. family.
Several other cryptographic projects have also begun to choose renewable sources to extract their currencies. Studies from the University of Cambridge show that the share of renewable energy in these energy mine reservoirs is already 78%.
Environmentalists have also suggested relocating to oil fields where they can use exhaust fumes or use excess wind energy near wind farms.
Throughout human history, art has been used as a medium for raising awareness and initiating debate on pressing issues. Similarly, NFT artists are using their art to draw attention to the climate crisis. DigitalArt4Climate brings together NFT artists from around the world to promote the challenge of increasing climate change. In cooperation with UN-Habitat , the initiative aims to achieve the global goals of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, it brings together culture and technology to engage individuals and communities to work together for common good.
As with all nascent technologies, the cryptol and blockchain have flaws that still need to be fixed. Its full potential is still untapped, but it can indeed be used as a good force to promote sustainability. While there are certainly many challenges ahead, Cryptol certainly has the potential to lead us to a greener planet and future.