How can blockchain and cryptocurrencies address the issue of sustainability?

The world of cryptocurrency is growing indefinitely in recent times. More and more investors and traders have joined the bandwagon of the crypto world. The immense profit potential and popularity of mainstream cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum have helped in raising awareness about the concept all over the world. Other cryptocurrencies like Ripple (XRP), Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), and Dogecoin (DOGE) have also made a huge name for themselves.

Today, the crypto market is worth over about $1.5 trillion. This shows how much the reach of the market has increased in the last few years. Apart from major investors and organizations, the public sector has also shown keen interest in exploring the newest for of currency. Bitcoin, the oldest and most valuable cryptocurrency, has now been around for over a decade. However, its major break cam in the year of 2017, when it broke all records and touched all-time high of $20,000. This was something that was not observed previously in any form of financial market. The early investors of Bitcoin became millionaires and billionaires. The world was in an utter state of awe for the newest cryptocurrency. Since then, crypto trading has been a popular practice among the masses. People use the services of trading platforms like Bitcoin Billionaire, who provide more credible trading signals to the users.

Since then, many experts have explored and researched this concept. The features like decentralization and anonymity have helped in promoting the idea to a wider audience. The business sector was already fed up with the complications of traditional banking. The regulatory checks and rulings from the governing authorities were always a risk for the privacy of the individuals. However, cryptocurrency proved to be an effective alternative to all of this. With its revolutionary concepts and extensive features, crypto addressed the major issues of the conventional banking and currency system.

The concerns hovering around crypto mining

Bitcoin, being the number one cryptocurrency in the world, faces a lot of criticism from the experts. One of the most important concerns raised by the researchers is over the mining of Bitcoin. There has been a lot of debate about the carbon footprint of Bitcoin. It has given hype to the belief that cryptocurrencies consume tonnes of energy, and thus, it is highly unsustainable in the longer run. The whole world is currently facing the implications of environmental atrocities brought upon by ignorance and negligence of the people.

Under these circumstances, the controversy around crypto is too big to ignore for a higher percentage of the public sector. Bitcoin, in its true essence, is a virtual currency. However, it is mined using high powered GPUs and computers. These computers are used to solve mathematical puzzles, quizzes and codes to mine a single Bitcoin. According to an estimate, the production of Bitcoin is estimated to release between 22 and 23 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These numbers are too large to be ignored easily.

Moreover, around 17 million Bitcoins have already been mined from the fixed amount of 21 million. As the time passes by, the mining of bitcoin is consuming more and more energy. Thus, the experts in the field are looking for more greener steps to compensate for the impact caused by this phenomenon. Many countries are trying to use hydropower as an alternative to fossil fuels to support the mining process. On the other hand, China has been among the first countries to lay a crackdown on Bitcoin mining facilities, citing its energy consumption issue.

Is there a way out?

Cryptocurrency as a concept is still in its early stages. It is understood that it still needs time to make progress, and hence, to find more effective measures in order to limit the implications posed by mining. Many experts and analysts claim that the ecosystem of Bitcoin is finding alternatives and therefore, moving towards a more greener approach. This will not only minimize the carbon emissions but will also lower the energy consumption.

This definite change can be looked upon by the initiation of the project, Ethereum 2.0. It aims to make a shift to the Proof of Stake (PoS) model from the previously used Proof of Work (PoW) consensus. The PoS model requires much less hardware as compared to the PoW model. Other cryptocurrencies like Polkadot, Cardano, and Cosmos are also pursuing their respective versions of PoS.

Moreover, it is argued that the energy sources used in crypto mining are mainly sourced from renewable sources. The electricity that is used by the mining facilities will also otherwise go to waste. In addition to this, the traditional economic world that lingers around Gold promotes a much ecologically adverse mining procedure. Gold mining has much more negative impact on the sustainability measures around the world than crypto mining.

Many blockchain and mining projects are placed in lands and fields far from the urban areas. The authorities are trying to manage the distribution of power in these areas. Blockchain, in its true essence, provides a platform with more speed, efficiency, and transparency in the financial setup. Therefore, experts and authorities should look out for solutions rather than suspending the use of crypto, as it has the potential to be the future.

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