As the nonfungible tokens craze took off at the start of the year, many climate-conscious artists vocalized their disapproval of Ethereum’s energy consumption. In May, Elon Musk then derailed Bitcoin (BTC), citing the energy consumed by Bitcoin as cause for Tesla to withdraw its plans to accept BTC as payment for its electric cars.
Both of these events have provoked a surge of debate from inside and outside the blockchain community. In particular, the arguments tend to focus on two areas: Bitcoin’s energy consumption and its dependency on climate-damaging fossil fuels versus renewables and, secondly, the benefits of one blockchain platform over another — generally focusing on consensus models and promoting proof-of-stake as the greener option.
Each debate is overflowing with arguments for both sides. If the IPCC is right, then the need for drastic action to help reverse some of the damage cannot be overstated. To do that, the focus ought to be on the positive applications of blockchain.
Leveraging blockchain’s strengths
One significant way that blockchain’s impact is already substantial is in its ability to crowdsource large amounts of otherwise wasted energy — which is aggregated and reignited for further utility. Crowdsourcing wasted energy is in keeping with the principles of a circular economy, which eliminates the throwaway culture, for recirculating available resources as much as possible. And computing power is one example.
Whether it be on a personal laptop