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How does blockchain technology affect the environment?
How does blockchain technology affect the environment?
Blockchain

How does blockchain technology affect the environment?

By Giorgi Mikhelidze - 4 Feb 2022

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When discussing blockchain-based apps and Web3 at a time of climate crisis, it’s important to understand why and how energy is used by blockchains and how it affects the environment.

What You Need To Know

Because of its use in cryptocurrencies, the digital ledger technology known as blockchain has gained considerable notoriety. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies (e.g. Ethereum, NEO, Litecoin), as well as a wide range of other developing applications in a variety of industries, including supply chains, digital content (e.g. patents and smart contracts), governance, and e-voting. The technology was introduced in 2008.

Fundamental knowledge of blockchain technology is required to evaluate the potentially enormous and transformational ramifications for society, the economy, and the environment of this new technology.

Blockchain and Environment

To avert ecological catastrophe and the social and political upheaval it would unleash, it is no longer contentious to suggest that economies, companies, and technology must work toward net-zero emissions as soon as possible.

In spite of this, a technology that looks to use as much energy as is conceivable is becoming more common. The amount of energy used by a single transaction is equivalent to that consumed by an average American family over the course of many months.

As more and more businesses become associated with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and begin to think about the potential that blockchain technology has for them, these transactions are becoming more and more essential in the world of marketing.

A blockchain (distributed database) is more than a speculative market; it is – at least theoretically – both a store of value and a means of payment.

For security concerns, cryptocurrency’s weakest link is in the payments, where agreement must be reached throughout the distributed database (or at least 51 percent) via a process known as Proof-of-Work for each transaction. It’s also vital to remember that transactions involve minting or transferring NFTs.

The processing and adding of transactions to the blockchain are the responsibilities of the miners. Super-users compete for the processing task by completing the mathematical problem (a cryptographic puzzle) in the quickest time possible. The winner receives a little number of dollars in exchange for this procedure. Because the calculations aren’t being done by a human with a calculator, the winner will be the one with the most powerful computer processor.

They also aid in the defense of the network against cyberattacks. One of the most common attacks is a Sybil attack, which occurs when an attacker establishes more than 51% of the network’s fake identities to influence the majority’s judgment on whether a transaction has occurred. Overwhelming the network in a PoW system would need an impossibly large amount of power.

blockchain environment
Bitcoin mining is meant to use a lot of energy

Can we reduce BTC pollution?

Among digital currencies, Bitcoin is one of the most popular. A Bitcoin purchase entails a number of things. New transactions have been added to the Blockchain as a result of your work. ‘Mining’ is an excellent parallel for Bitcoin acquisition since the expenses and effort increase as a diamond miner progresses further into the mine, much as in Bitcoin mining. 

Bitcoin mining is meant to use a lot of energy, despite its many advantages. Bitcoin mining and trading might have a negative impact on government efforts to preserve energy and prevent climate change because of their high power usage and emissions

Jon Truby, a professor at Qatar University, has released research in the journal Energy Research and Social Science that examines how Blockchain might be used to promote ecologically friendly applications while preserving the value of this rapidly expanding industry. Instead of trying to figure out how to promote the usage of more energy-efficient Blockchain technology, the author looks at legislative options that could work. Rather than focusing on a single nation, this research examines policy options across a wide range of jurisdictions.

Bitcoin regulation requires policymakers to assess whether or not it is relevant to their country’s treasury system. Attempts to define Bitcoin, on the other hand, have been met with difficulties. As well-known digital money, Bitcoin is often referred to as a cryptocurrency, however, the author argues that Bitcoin is not a currency. Furthermore, the US Treasury viewed cryptocurrencies to be separate from the real money of the United States. However, the Bank of Canada is currently considering the possibility of issuing digital money as legal tender, which means it would be recognized as a currency by the government. The recognition of Bitcoin as a currency depends on determining whether environmental taxes can be implemented into the current tax structure.

The author conducts a more thorough examination of policy choices in light of the challenging definitions. They show how nations may fulfill environmental objectives by influencing people’s behavior on bitcoin transactions. Consider, for instance, the possibility of indirectly encouraging the adoption of more energy-efficient technologies by imposing a charge on Bitcoin transactions based on their carbon emissions. Federal and municipal Bitcoin taxes would provide international markets a tax advantage at the price of growth in the domestic market at the same time. An environmental limitation on Bitcoin technology development, for example, might conflict with the government’s efforts to foster the expansion of the Bitcoin business.

Giorgi Mikhelidze

Giorgi is a Georgia software developer with two years of experience trading on the financial markets. He is now working to spread the knowledge about the Blockchain in his country and share all of his findings and research to as many crypto enthusiasts as possible.

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