Can Green Cryptocurrency Solve The Climate Crisis?
Updated: May 19, 2021
There appears to be growing interest in sustainable digital currencies that could be an alternative to bitcoin, after Elon Musk issued a tweet earlier this month (May), announcing that Tesla would no longer be supporting bitcoin because of fears surrounding its impact on the environment.
According to the Independent, bitcoin’s energy usage is concerning not just to Mr Musk and it seems that there are now many raising the alarm and saying that it is unsustainable, using more electricity than either Sweden or Malaysia (from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index).
Unfortunately, energy use is essential for bitcoin, because it’s built on the concept of proof-of-work mining, necessary to ensure the functioning and stability of cryptocurrency.
Participants can only be involved if they show they have done the work as part of the blockchain - and competition is rife, which means that more equipment and computing power is necessary in order for miners to beat others to the answer.
But there may be a potential solution in the form of altcoins, such as cardano (or ada), which is an environmentally conscious cryptocurrency that uses proof-of-stake as a concept, instead of proof-of-work.
And then there’s SolarCoin, which gives new coins as rewards for solar power installations and the production of energy. Or you could look into Nano, which uses a lightweight proof-of-work model and features no mining, minting or printing.
It apparently takes just a few seconds to process transactions on a consumer PC... so there are certainly solutions to the problem, it would seem.
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