To ethically mine crypto we need to use renewable energy
If you have access to the internet, have read a newspaper, or have even passed a television in your gym recently, you have inevitably encountered the claim that blockchain has the ability to drastically change the world.
Blockchain technology and its most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin, have been called of equal importance to the internet, capable of transforming businesses, government, and social interaction: the entire fabric of modern society. The enthusiasm—and the hype—are both inescapable and infectious. The assumption behind the enthusiasm is that blockchain and cryptocurrencies will change the world for the better. And perhaps indeed they will; I myself am optimistic. The technology can enable democratized access to services such as medical care, financial services, and energy. As a crypto investor, this is the vision I hope to help realize.
But there is a darker side to the technology and the industry. We must recognize and address this danger soon, or else we run the risk of undoing decades of social and environmental progress. This threat is the immense energy consumption and potential climate impact of the blockchain and its two leading currencies, bitcoin and ethereum.
Photo courtesy of Dana Smillie.