Cryptocurrencies are taking the world by storm at the moment, particularly Bitcoin. One of the major downfalls of most coins is the environmental impact that running a blockchain has in terms of energy usage.
Currently the world is besieged by a disease that is ruling and ruining our planet, Homo sapiens. Unfortunately, our success as a species is having significant impacts upon the planet that we live and this will bring dire consequences in the future.
Technology gives us a chance to try and rectify the current state of affairs globally and newer, greener energies are being discovered and utilised each and every year. Blockchains and cryptocurrencies have the potential to be a real disruptor to mainstream finance, but what impact will they have on energy use and the environment as a whole?
Bitcoin, as the most valuable coin, currently requires significant amounts of energy to mine. Large backs of miners have been setup at locations across the globe as mining Bitcoin using massive mining setups becomes more profitable. Akin to mining lower %'s of gold as the price increases, larger amounts of energy can be paid for as the price of Bitcoin increases. As a new technology, should we not be seeking to make blockchains more energy efficient?
According to research, Bitcoin mining uses 0.34% of the worlds electricity, more than the country of Argentina and it's population uses. Now in countries like Canada which produces mainly renewable energy from hydro-electric sources, this environmental impact is smaller. Iceland, with all of it's Geothermal energy and lower temperatures, the footprint is even lower.
Even though Bitcoin is very energy hungry and this is often a negative highlighted by proponents, compare Bitcoin to traditional fiat. Paper/plastic currencies require significant resources to print, secure, track and submit. Pollution from fiat also contributes to the worlds waste issues. These considerations are often overlooked when purely looking at how much energy Bitcoin currently consumes.
Essentially, looking for renewable resources and running nodes and mining in countries that produce renewable energy is something we, as thoughtful blockchain enthusiasts, should be considering.
The harm we are doing to this planet needs to be offset through technology and blockchain is one of those advancements we should be able to harvest. I am looking forward to seeing more crypto options that are less-energy hungry coming online in the future. I am not aware of too many at the moment. Let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for reading.
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