When it all started with Satoshi Nakamoto’s avant-garde manifesto, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, on bitcoin.org, people learned a path which will change our perspective on the finance system forever. Was a decentralised and libertarian world possible? Or would it be a utopia to eliminate greedy mediums and superior authorities? The recent decade has proved the opposite. Nothing would be the same again.
Mighty Bitcoin, its wingman Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies have created a massive market worth billions of dollars at a whirling speed. This constantly expanding market contains developers, exchange companies, mediums between makers and takers, and analysts besides miners. Yes! Unlike coinage in paper banknotes and metal coins, a considerable number of digital currencies are mined.
What is Mining?
This is a metaphor for the computational work that nodes in a specific network. To demonstrate, let’s take a closer look at how to mine Ethereum. In order to do this, miners must invest in a pricey Graphical Processing Unit (GPU), which has an immersive power consumption. The higher hash rate means a greater possibility of finding the next block and earning ETH; most mining rigs consist of multiple GPU units to enhance their hash rate, hence their chances.
To understand the measurable quantity of power consumption during mining, we better give the two most popular crypto coins as examples. At 600 seconds, mining -1- Bitcoin will cost 72,000 GW of electrical power to mine. From another perspective, you can compare it with Portugal’s annual energy consumption of 47,000 GW.
What about Ethereum? Ether as the “crypto-fuel” is not lily-white either. It has an irreversible and horrendous impact on the earth we live in. To mine -1- Ether, 26.5 terawatt-hours of electricity is spent. This amount is almost equal to the energy consumption of Ireland, with 5 million residents in. Scary. Right? A utopia has become a dystopia for us. This is precisely why environmentalists are furious about Blockchain and its ceteras.
Is There a Cryptocurrency Environmentally Friendly?
But is it a dead end? Are all cryptocurrencies devilish to nature’s harmony, and there are no eco-friendly cryptocurrencies? The good news is some are inflicting minor damage on our planet. They have a lower carbon footprint in mining and transaction. Here we have listed 5 top green cryptos:
As an open-source distributed cryptocurrency, IOTA is designed for the Internet of things, and it utilises a directed acyclic graph (Tangle) to store transactions. It is motivated by potentially higher scalability compared to Blockchain. Since it does not require miners, it has lower energy consumption. (0.00011kWh)
Chia is a perfect example of sustainable cryptocurrencies due to its green design to be less energy-intensive. (0.023kWh). Chia is “farmed”, and Chia uses hard drives of laptop or desktop computers as proof of space rather than the mining, proof-of-work. In other words, Chia can be farmed on fields (hard drives), and unused land can be used for “plots”. Farming Chia doesn’t require vast amounts of electricity like other mined cryptocurrencies. However, considering the computer hardware, it may grow levels of e-waste.
Cardano works with a proof-of-stake system, Ouroboros, which requires users to buy tokens to join the network, and this approach saves outstanding amounts of energy. Ouroboros is the first peer-reviewed Blockchain scaled to global requirements with no room for sacrificing security or eco-friendliness. As one of the most favourable green cryptos (0.5479 kWh) and at the time of writing this article, it is the fifth-largest cryptocurrency worldwide.
Actually, Solarcoin is basically designed to promote solar energy by rewarding generators with solar coins. Solar generators earn one coin for every megawatt-hour they create in this reward system.
As the green alternative to Bitcoin, Bitgreen encourages positive, eco-friendly behaviour by presenting rewards to users for their green actions such as buying electric cars, drinking sustainable coffee, funding environmental projects, and volunteering. Plus, Bitgreen can be traded on exchanges or spent with partners listed.
Consequently, environmentalists’ resistance to tremendous electricity consumption, e-waste, and high carbon footprint in mining and transactions are not fallacious. Humankind is the only being polluting the earth. Darker days with drought, famine, extinction of species, and wars for drinkable water resources are on our doorways. We do not have the luxury of choosing the profit over our planet anymore. No matter what the cost, we need to prefer eco-friendly options. Because there is only one home for us, and it is Mother Earth!