Eco-Sustainability in Blockchains

July 17, 2021

Eco-Sustainability in Blockchains

By Brenda Cohen

When I think about sustainability, I think about fishing. Don’t fish more than what the ocean ecosystem can handle. It’s our job as humans to respect and ensure the survival of all ocean life. Without a healthy ocean, the world would not survive.

When I think about sustainability, I think about forests. Sustainable forestry means taking care of all parts of the forest, including plants, soils, water, wildlife and trees! Make sure that future generations will have forests.

When I think about sustainability, I think about technology. We can do better as a society to ensure our computing energy consumption is managed and offset. That is why eco-sustainability is at the forefront of our thinking while developing Award Pool.

On any given day, five computers are chugging away in our home. Three kids schooling and two adults working from home – we all know what that looks like on an energy bill. Now imagine that much energy expended on a worldwide scale, and you are getting closer to understanding how much energy specific blockchains use.

“The University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) studies the burgeoning business of cryptocurrencies. It calculates that Bitcoin’s total energy consumption is somewhere between 40 and 445 annualised terawatt hours (TWh), with a central estimate of about 130 terawatt hours.” BBC.COM

Blockchain technology provides endless financial opportunities; however, it’s known for high energy usage and consequently massive carbon footprint. The constant “mining” in the Proof of Work systems of Bitcoin and Ethereum means that chugging never stops as it verifies a miner’s work and validates block transactions. Proof of Work requires ALL of its miners to attempt to solve a complex sum, with the winner determined by the person who has the most powerful hardware devices. Mining of this kind uses an excessive amount of power and electricity.

More recent blockchains have evolved to a new way of doing things, a new consensus mechanism called Proof of Stake. This model randomly chooses the winner based on the amount they have staked; therefore uses significantly less energy and is more eco-friendly. The Celo Blockchain is a proof-of-stake blockchain.

For our Token Craft NFT, we decided to use Celo Blockchain because it uses less energy and the transactions are cheaper, faster, and you cannot change the transaction’s outcome once complete.

The Celo community is also the first carbon-neutral blockchain. Celo offsets carbon emissions of their blockchain using a Carbon Fund model. Since blockchains are decentralized and anyone can be running part of the Celo network, it would be impossible to enforce the blockchain to run only on renewable energy. Therefore, the Celo platform contributes to community tree planting projects to remove the carbon from the air and make the blockchain carbon neutral.

So just as you make an effort to plant trees, turn off lights and purchase from a sustainable fishery, consider using Token Craft for your NFT purchases and decrease your carbon footprint.

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