One of the main drawbacks related to Blockchain is the large amount of energy required to solve the complex processes of computing and translating information to create new blocks.
Among the most polluting Blockchains, that is, those that require huge amounts of energy, and consequently produce waste and scrap, are Ethereum and Bitcoin. For these platforms, energy consumption is so high that it can be equated with the needs of large sovereign countries such as Argentina. According to studies by the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Bitcoin is also a largely polluting cryptocurrency.
Blockchain’s strong environmental impact may discourage its momentum for deployment because of heavy, sometimes fierce criticism from environmentalists and citizens. Of course, a widespread attitude of preemptive hostility, motivated by the corporate fear, of banks and old institutions operating in credit, of losing ground and economic power, must be taken into account throughout this process of renewal of global finance. However with a view to following the suggestions of sound constructive criticism, there are many solutions geared toward defending the environment and protecting the planet. One of the most direct and practically counter-trend is to contribute to the creation of green lungs in the areas surrounding computing centers; in parallel with this attempt to remedy the ecological damage with concrete facts, there should be a determined commitment to research, study and use of new computing processes that require less energy expenditure thus limiting damage to nature and ecosystems to a minimum.
The green Blockchain
More focused on environmental impact is Algorand, which has reached the level of zero emissions.
Many other platforms are using Algorand as a model to follow in moving toward reducing consumption. We are finally beginning to talk, more and more convincingly, about green Blockchain. Even principled detractors of the new frontier are beginning to take note of the seriousness of the Blockchain pioneers’ approach to the planet’s problem.
Other environmentally conscious platforms include Solana, Polkadot, and Cardano.
These distributed ledgers, in addition to having contained emissions and energy consumption, saw crypto buying increase in 2021, demonstrating that care for the environment is a value perceived as fundamental by investors and users.
The goals of these platforms are sustainability, affordability, and scalability. A high number of transactions per second can be guaranteed with low costs and modest energy use.
Towards the Proof of History
A crucial point in the area of sustainability is the choice between the Proof of Stake and Proof of Work systems.
In PoW, validation of transactions is done by solving complex mathematical problems and using algorithms. The computers, dedicated to solving such algorithms, are of enormous size and are powered by electricity, as well as having the need to keep the temperature constant with air cooling systems. In the PoS system, on the other hand, a number of Blockchain users are randomly chosen, from which blocks are minted instead of extracting new ones. This process is much more sustainable and less polluting, as the complex calculations do not have to be solved and thus not as much energy is used.
In the context of defending transaction security, it should be emphasized that the PoS validation method, although it involves low energy consumption, is no less reliable than PoW; on the contrary, it equally guarantees the security of the distributed ledger.
The latest development in technology has led to the realization of Proof of History, a procedure that relies on the creation of historical records aimed at proving that, at a specific time, a specific event occurred. This methodology, made famous by Blockchain Solana, drastically reduces the time of mining processes, i.e., validation of the transaction or exchange. For this reason it is extremely lightweight and scalable.
Users are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, which is why it is essential for platforms to research new strategies for containing energy requirements.
Also ChainOn, in the same vein as described above, is also constantly working to protect environmental sustainability by working in the direction of reducing energy consumption related to its private Blockchain and digital systems.