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The Bitcoin community supporting environmental causes is nothing new. Just a few months ago Genercoin was released by Arterran Renewable Fuels.
The Bitcoin community supporting environmental causes is nothing new. Just a few months ago Genercoin was released by Arterran Renewable Fuels. The basis of Genercoin was a new biofuel developed in the Arterran labs. Each Genercoin represented a certain amount of the fuel, based on British Thermal Units (BTUs). One Genercoin might be worth 10,000 BTUs for instance. But a new development is completely different and might have a significant effect on carbon emissions.
The new coin, called GreenCoin, offers incentives to alternate energy businesses for reducing their carbon footprint. Their website explains it as follows:
“We currently pay out all of the Foundation’s daily coins to 10 producers sequestering ~100 kg or so of carbon per day. This mechanism is identical to theoretically paying 10,000,000 producers producing 15 GigaTonnes of emission sequestration per day. These awards allow for the Foundation to aggregate the carbon effectiveness of the Producers in the system in order to create an accurate carbon offset emission credit, which is the base-value of GreenCoin. In turn the individual producers receive GreenCoins daily pro rata to their carbon emission offset, which is effectively an incentive payment for doing this useful, carbon-mitigated work.”
But here is the surprising thing about GreenCoin. The company is registered as a “Non-Profit” in Delaware and makes no profit from the cryptocurrency. Instead, half of the mined coins are distributed among the miners and the other half to individual producers that demonstrate significantly lower carbon emissions than the global average.
GreenCoin considers climate change to not only be one of mankind’s biggest threats but also to be of anthropogenic origin. Simply put - we caused it. While many climatologists believe that the damage cannot be reversed, they also postulate that we can mitigate its impact by reducing emissions. The problem is that many people, industries and even nations are short-sighted enough to only consider their profit margins and ignore the long-term effects.
The idea of creating a financial incentive for reducing emissions has already experience success. The coin has been out now for nearly 60 days and already has 10 producers, which include nine home-solar arrays and one home biofuel producers.
One of the favorite arguments against regulating carbon is that regulations harm the economy. The Economic Policy Institute used the recent economic crash to perfectly illustrate that not only does regulation not do harm, deregulation creates conditions in which harm is inevitable, simply because the idea that industries will self-regulate fails to take human nature into consideration.
It is also extremely unlikely that the biggest polluters, namely the United States and China, will enact any controls in the near term. The United States political system is dominated by big business while China is establishing a huge industrial base to support its more than a billion citizens and dominating global export markets. This makes attacking the problem at a grass roots level much more practical. The Conservative Heritage Foundation, however, made the following statement about environmental regulations:
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) forthcoming climate change regulations for new and existing electricity generating units have been appropriately labeled the “war on coal,” because the proposed limits for carbon dioxide emissions would essentially prohibit the construction of new coal-fired power plants and force existing ones into early retirement.
By incentivizing “producers of renewable products and services that have a significant reduced carbon emission impact versus the global average” the company said in one interview. They are currently paying out the company’s entire net profit to producers that are sequestering ~100 kg or more of carbon per day.
The company says that this is the equivalent of paying 10 million producers producing 15 Gigatonnes of carbon a day. Carbon emissions increased by one Gigatonne in 2011-2012, which puts the GreenCoin Foundation on the path to making some real change.
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