With each digital coin worth roughly $44,000 US dollars as of February 2022, with a market capitalization of more than $830 billion, the ‘bitcoin boom’ is taking the online arena by storm and setting a new financial frontier for the future of personal banking through the exchange of cryptocurrencies.
With a collective market capitalization of more than $1.75 trillion, the size of the cryptocurrency space has grown exponentially in the past decade and, as such, we seek to explore ‘green crypto’ as the newest innovation in eco-friendly cryptocurrency transactions.
A Crash Course on Cryptocurrency
Giving individuals free reign to engage in peer-to-peer financial transactions or contracts without the need for a trusted third-party intermediary (i.e. a bank, monetary authority, or court), cryptocurrency is all the craze.
The Benefits of Cryptocurrency include:
- Increased Transactional Transparency
- Accurate Tracking
- Ensuring Permanent Ledger / Financial Record-Keeping Systems
- Cost Reduction
With the seemingly endless possibilities offered by this nuanced form of online financial interactivity running at an all-time high, environmentally-friendly cryptocurrency has entered into the fray to take the future of digitized finance and increased money invested up a notch by establishing a safe haven for climate change activism.
Why Cryptocurrency Poses a Threat to the Environment?
With the lack of credentials for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin posing as a major energy consumption concern, the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index comparatively analyses this potential power crisis by citing:
” … the annual amount of electricity consumed by bitcoin mining could boil enough water for all cups of tea consumed in the UK for 30 years.“
What’s most worrisome amongst environmentalists is the level of computer processing power required to mine cryptocurrency, of which the process involves:
- Using high-powered computers that compete to verify transactions in return for coins.
- Insurmountable amounts of electricity to power complex algorithms.
- The operation of non-renewable energy sources like coal, which is considered the dirtiest fossil fuel of them all.
Seeking Greener Pastures with Enviro-Friendly Cryptocurrencies
Swiftly shutting down critics with shared concerns about the carbon footprint and electricity consumption implications of the crypto-craze, the emergence of environmentally-friendly cryptocurrencies has introduced new and exciting renewable energy-based mining solutions using less energy-intensive validation systems.
Increased efforts made by developers and crypto advocates toward sustainability for the cryptocurrency ecosystem have seen eco-friendly organizations like the Crypto Climate Accord working toward a goal of having all blockchains powered by renewable energy by 2025.
The Environmental Prospects of Investing in Green Crypto
With investors, the general public, and regulators sounding the alarm of concern about how much resources are being used for crypto mining, a growing trend towards environmentally-friendly cryptocurrencies has surfaced, increasing recent investment cycles.
If reducing the environmental impact of the mining process sits at the financial forefront of your mind when considering your options, investing in eco-friendly cryptocurrencies as a greener alternative can sustain your online path to sustainability by contributing to the reduction of our planet’s carbon footprint.
Furthermore, the beauty of investing in green crypto to curb existing environmental implications on energy usage lies in its expansive ease of access. For instance, if you already have a crypto wallet, you can move towards sustainable options to help support the environment.
5 Most Eco-Friendly Cryptocurrencies for Future Investments
With valid concerns raised by environmentalists about the worrying amount of fossil fuels used in the mining of cryptocurrency, merit is fortunately due to greener alternatives that inflict lesser damage to the environment.
If you’re interested in all the benefits of the crypto-craze, but still want to play your part in safeguarding the sustainability of our planet, here’s a list of the 5 most promising environmentally conscious cryptocurrencies for future investments:
1. SolarCoin (SLR)
Running in real-time energy conservation, SolarCoin is an independent global sustainable cryptocurrency designed to promote the creation of solar energy by rewarding generators with solar coins. With SLR crypto, each hour of power generated with the use of solar technology creates one new Solarcoin for generators to claim.
This incentivized approach to using renewable forms of energy has positively impacted the reduction of dependence on older forms of energy consumption that pose a threat to the environment.
Offering an all-inclusive digitized eco-friendly platform for regular consumers as well as companies – big or small – that utilize solar panels, users can manually upload documentation regarding their production exchange for cryptocurrency. Automated updates can also be generated and connected directly to solar panels in construction.
If you’ve got the development of a solar array underway, consider SolarCoin as a helpful way to offset your installation costs much quicker.
2. IOTA (MIOTA)
Designed to administer microtransactions between devices on the Internet of Things (IoT), IOTA is maintained by smaller devices through a unique systematic process referred to as the ‘Tangle’, which uses an alternative form of technology to ensure lower energy requirements.
Instead of relying on a blockchain, IOTA uses a ‘cryptography-based’ method of verification called ‘Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG)’, which does not require miners and accounts for real-time alignment between transactions and verifications.
3. Nano (NANO)
What gives Nano its unique green crypto edge is its autonomy from mining, making its carbon footprint already fairly negligible.
Nano’s process for confirming transactions is authorized through Open Representative Voting (ORV), consisting of a collective of representatives voted in by members of the network to act as validators.
By adopting this process, the need for an entire blockchain is completely bypassed, thereby improving speed and efficiency without the risk of an increase in energy consumption.
In addition to its eco-credentials, Nano transfers are instant and free to trade.
4. Cardano (ADA)
Developed by Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum (the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin), Cardano has been reviewed by both scientists and academics as a comparable green crypto alternative to bitcoin.
Research findings have shown that bitcoin can only reach 7 transactions each second in contrast to Cardano, which can reach 1000 per second while also using less energy per transaction.
Arguably the most well-known of the green cryptos and unlike most cryptocurrencies, Cardano uses a ‘proof-of-stake’ system called Ouroboros, which requires users to purchase tokens to join the network, subsequently saving significant amounts of energy without the major bloat that comes from some of the older forms of cryptocurrency.
Claimed by Cardano, Ouroboros is the first peer-reviewed blockchain-based protocol that can be scaled to meet global requirements and increased demand without sacrificing sustainability or security, both of which account for substantial surges in power consumption.
Considered the lesser-known of the enviro-friendly cryptocurrencies, Chia is one of the more energy-efficient digital currencies that can even be mined in the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform.
Created by Bram Cohen of BitTorrent, Chia offers downloadable software that allows users to earn Chia tokens by running the decentralized platform on their hard drives quickly, efficiently, and in a way that isn’t overly draining on the environment from excessive energy consumption.
Relying on computer processors, Chia operates on a proof-of-space-time model, which allows users to earn currency by simply storing data for a specific period.
Some critics, however, still claim that Chia isn’t as eco-friendly as it claims due to the significant surge in demand for computer hardware and growing levels of e-waste.
Considering the impact that mining of digital currency has on the environment, one might ultimately consider avoiding participation in the practice altogether – the fewer individuals involved, the lesser the impact on our ecosystem.
However, given the exponential prospects of investing in green crypto as a sustainable alternative with lesser environmental implications for our planet, eco-conscious enthusiasts can rest assured that their involvement in digital trade is underpinned by efforts to reduce energy wastage and other threats that mining cryptocurrencies pose to the environment.
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- South African wordsmith Zanda Simamane is an enthusiastic, cheerful, conscientious, and talkative individual who is likely to express my emotions, enjoy change and exhibit a lively attitude. In addition to being warm-hearted and outgoing, he is actively interested in others and tolerant of them. Throughout his career, Zanda's exceptional copywriting, editorial, and communication skills have proven valuable in his diverse fields of interest, some of which include Copywriting, PR & Marketing, Entertainment & Fashion Journalism, Social Media, Tech, and Influencer/Talent Management.
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