Why is everyone talking about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies?
When Elon Musk reversed his plans to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for Tesla cars in March of this year, it made the world stand up and take notice of the environmental impact of the blockchain industry as a whole. The mining process used by Bitcoin and others requires great energy supplies as it needs powerful machines to run at full tilt in order to process transactions.
The level of computer processing power required leads to vast amounts of electricity used. This has led people to start talking about the overall environmental impact.
How do cryptocurrencies damage the environment in the first place?
Sustainability continues to be a key concern when discussing the future of cryptocurrencies. It has been flagged that some of the largest cryptocurrencies today require vast amounts of energy consumption. Blockchain mining involved in verifying transactions turns out to be damaging to the environment. With server farms now growing in size and spreading across the world, we are seeing an increase in environmental concerns. However, with growing innovations, alternative enterprise solutions are emerging that can help cut down on the energy usage involved.
New coins are generated to reward miners for their work. This proof of work (PoW) protocol also helps to secure the network from external attacks. Mining is used to prevent double-spending of cryptocurrencies across a distributed network.
Many of the powerful players in the crypto industry are dedicating time to discuss the sustainable future for cryptocurrencies. Spearheaded by Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor, the Bitcoin Mining Council aims to promote energy usage transparency and accelerate sustainability in blockchain initiatives.
Proof of work moving towards proof of stake
Many of the newer blockchains are opting to use proof of stake (PoS) systems rather than proof of work. Proof of work is where inefficient cryptographic problem solving takes place and is ultimately dependent on energy. In contrast, users involved in proof of stake are validators, not miners. This way, they are adding to the blockchain by putting at stake large amounts of cryptocurrency. In this sense, it removes the necessity of competition between miners, saving energy and also enabling the blockchain to work through each transaction more efficiently.
Will there ever be a “green cryptocurrency?”
With cryptocurrencies, every time a transaction takes place, it is broadcast to every computer on the network, and this interconnected system verifies the transactions. Mining inefficiency, causing the environmental costs, threatens the notion of blockchain as a long-term enterprise solution.
Thankfully, efforts are well underway towards environmentally friendly digital assets, and we are seeing rapid innovations in this space. Proof of stake is now forming the foundation of newer protocols such as Cardano (ADA) and XinFin (XDC).
The XDC Network is supported by masternodes that are responsible for block creation. The platform XinFin is a resilient blockchain protocol that integrates seamlessly with older systems and can bypass some of the major problems that centralized platforms face.
With a native coin based on delegated proof of stake, the XinFin’s XDC Network is now in a position to achieve the ultimate performance without relying heavily on power consumption. XinFin bridges the gap for all enterprises wishing to avail themselves of decentralized applications. Founded in 2017, the XinFin Network is now positioned as a top enterprise blockchain, partnering with institutions to provide outstanding technology that improves infrastructure across a wide range of industries by using advanced smart contracts. XDC greatly reduces its energy consumption and so its carbon footprint.
What’s next for the green movement of the industry?
Considering the environmental consequences of blockchain technology has led to recent innovation in the crypto space. It has encouraged networks like XDC to empower sustainable alternative technological solutions for digital currencies and enterprises wishing to operate with digital assets such as Ledgermail, StorX, GoPlugin, Blockdegree, TradeFinex, stable coins and many more in the future. As more and more developers begin to use cryptocurrencies to integrate with blockchain technology, XinFin is helping to reduce the environmental impact.
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