Crypto & the Environment: how to be sustainable

There are several elusive analogies as to how much energy crypto unapologetically devours. The average bitcoin transaction consumes 1,785.5 kilowatt hours. This could power an average American household for 61.2 days. The carbon footprint here is equivalent to 1,879,709 visa transactions, according to Digiconomist. The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index reports that the amount of bitcoin mining could boil enough water for all cups of tea in the UK for 30 years. The environmental concerns center around the amount of energy required to mine. And the fact that the current trend in energy consumption continues to rise.
Mining depletes energy mainly because of the high powered computers that compete to verify transactions in return for coins. Most chains use high-energy out of necessity to power complex algorithms. The energy used for these transactions are non-renewable energy sources, usually the dirtiest – coal for example. Another fun crypto energy fact by the Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, is that selling one art work on Ethereum has the same carbon footprint of one, one-hour flight. There is a new Ethereum (2) projected for the future which promises to use 99.95% less energy, but is a distant projected arrival. The current bear market is providing less consumption, but as soon as the next bull run hits, energy expenditure will soar in accordance. 
There are several chains that are working on more environmental efficiency as well as using more renewable energies. A possible six presenting various solutions include Chia (farming processed through Chia employee’s hard drives saving on external computer expenditure), Iota (which uses a “tangle” technology that does not require miners), Cardano (a well-known alternative offered by the co-founder of Ethereum producing 1000 transactions to 7 in Bitcoin), Nano (which uses Open Representative Voting protocol to reduce energy as well as offers free trade), Solarcoin (one coin for every megawatt hour created by solar energy), and Bitgreen (which gives rewards to users for being more environmentally conscious such as discounts for sustainable coffee, car-pooling, and volunteering). These chains are examples of where crypto must go in response to the present day energy waste. Highlighted here are mechanisms using renewable energies, applying energy efficient protocols, in addition to providing carbon footing offsetting.
While the block chain is proving to be the new “darling” of the art world because of the proof of ownership as well as utility extensions, we need to also look at the impact on our real world. If we do not take care of our biological relationships with our environment – people and nature, web 3 will not matter. Positive orgs are growing such as Crypto Climate All Accord that so far work with over 250 orgs to compile options and unique problem-solving solutions to reduce carbon output. They offer several remedies to lessen the severity of the imprint including a focus on energy efficiency, load-shifting, re-location, on-site renewables, recommendations, off-site renewables, and recommendations for high-quality offsets. The main focus is that the big chains are expending the most amount of energy and are by far vastly the most inefficient in terms of energy. The community as a whole need to work together to shift away from this waste, as web 3 grows a part of everyone’s online and in person world.   


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NOTE: this is not to disregard anything that is going on in the space – just to be aware that this environmental awareness is necessary and groups should be giving external rewards to those that go that extra mile to do so and help the world outside of the scape of the ego.


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