For several reasons, a lot of people consider blockchain as one of the technologies that can solve all the world’s problems, which is not correct; a blockchain is just a tool. However, blockchain (well-applied) has the potential to change how we interact as human beings, aiding us in terms of governance issues, trade, conflict resolution, between others.
In terms of sustainability, experts around the globe accuse blockchain of hurting the environment, and this premise is partially true:
How some blockchains hurt the environment?
When running a blockchain, we may require a requisite amount of electricity, mainly when mining new cryptocurrencies. In the case of bitcoin, the first and more broadly known blockchain today, thousands of computers worldwide are working to find a solution to a puzzle. Whenever a computer determines this answer, it will receive a big reward (today around 6.25 BTC, roughly 60,000.00 USD) every 10 minutes.
Mining these cryptocurrencies only works well when executed at scale, a single server is worthless; therefore, mining bitcoins, in thousands of computers, uses extremely high amounts of energy.
However, not all the blockchains use the same protocol to mine new currency. Different blockchains use different consensus mechanisms; accordingly, there are several of them that even run in small computers.
Furthermore, there is a global trend towards using renewable energies to support computational energetical expenses. Big corporations like Apple, Facebook, and Google, are already using green energy to feed their data centers. Blockchains are following the same path. But then:
Can blockchain help us protect our beloved earth?
Yes, blockchain applications can help, assist, and pave the path towards a more sustainable world. Several different projects chose blockchain capabilities and functionalities to start benefiting the environment in different ways:
The challenges of globalization filled the world with complex supply chains with an extreme number of products, parties, and processes, and the need to have them all connected and coordinated. Blockchains’ ability to handle and manage authorization, arbitration, and traceability implications has become a handy way to reduce the impact, automate, and add efficiency, this way reducing the environmental impact importantly. Projects like EVShare are tackling these problems directly from the root, using blockchain technology to achieve transparency, efficiency, automation, accessibility, and interoperability.
This technology also aids the raising need for transparent markets and access to reliable information. Data in the blockchain is publicly accessible, permanent, and non-modifiable, which allows us to trust and have confidence in its provenance and validity.
Regarding sustainable markets or carbon markets, blockchain is changing how the information is shared and presented; the first benefit is bringing back trust in the industry. Projects like Cx – The Carbon Token, and others, are making use of the blockchain to provide a trustworthy marketplace of carbon offsets and a place where offer and demand for these assets join together.
Using blockchain technology can help us tackle environmental issues, bringing efficiency and automation, and reducing our carbon footprint consequently. Nevertheless, the functionalities embed to it, solve authenticity, and traceability, which fosters trust and confidence in the projects which use it.
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