Blockchains are a new phenomenon. What started with the introduction of the first cryptocurrency Bitcoin has already evolved into a new way to store and share digital information. Although not yet widely used, blockchains are popping up everywhere and use cases are being designed and developed around the globe. Most blockchains run on a distributed authentication process which involves many computers who all need to run a compute intensive algorithm to verify and approve each new transaction on the Blockchain. This could be a document, a picture, a token or something else. This is called the Proof of Work principle (PoW) and requires enormous amounts of electricity for each single transaction.
CO2 Impact Calculator
The calculation is based on data we know from the Bitcoin blockchain and it holds true for most of the Proof of Work principle based blockchains. However, exact numbers differ. We know that the Ethereum blockchain, which is the second largest in the world after bitcoin, consumes around half of the energy of the Bitcoin blockchain per transaction.
Do you want to embrace a greener digital lifestyle? Below we provide some tips. If you select one or multiple, it is stored locally. This is better for both CO2 emissions as it is for your privacy. By selecting a tip, it is added to your own battleplan, where you can always return to in the Take Action section.
Do not use blockchain technology, yet
For the moment there is no way you could use blockchain technology in an environmentally friendly manner. However, progress is being made in introducing a new verification method based on random selection called Proof-of-Stake. This would cut the environmental impact of the blockchain enormously.
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Did you know the blockchain industry alone could be responsible for enough CO2 to result in a 2 degrees global warming?
The numbers are really astounding and quite frightening as well. If blockchain remains based on the Proof-of-Work principle it could end up causing enough CO2 emissions to be solely responsible for rising temperatures. Already now, a single Non-Fungible Token (NFT) release consumes more electricity in 10 seconds than a house in a year. And the two biggest blockchains on the net, Bitcoin and Ethereum, together consume more energy per year than Spain or Mexico.
Blockchain is a promising technology with many possibilities for peer-to-peer direct transactions, but as long as we haven’t found ways to slash the electricity needs the best and only ecologically responsible strategy is to wait with getting on the block.