Author: Jagdish Kumar, India
With Blockchain technology becoming a global buzz, there are many concerns that are now published in many papers and journals.
Once such fear that has been reported in the journal Energy Research & Social Science is that Bitcoin and similar Blockchain technologies consume more electricity than entire nations.
The paper warned that this development may prevent the world from achieving the climate change mitigation targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Jon Trudy, one of the researcher from Qatar University said that digital currencies are the major product of Blockchain technology and the way it is used to mine cryptocurrencies, it is using more energy than an entire nations.
Turdy also said that if we want to use the technology, we have to find a sustainable way, so that it does not harm the environment.
The study also suggested some financial and legal options available to tackle this problem, which is growing day by day, as there is on policy on how to use the technology sustainably.
Some of the measures recommended by the researchers are, to imposes new taxes, charges, or restrictions to reduce demand by users, miners, and miner manufacturers who employ polluting technologies, and offers incentives that encourage developers to create less energy-intensive/carbon-neutral Blockchain.
Turdy also noted that many developers have taken no account of the environmental impact of their designs, so that must be encouraged to adopt consensus protocols that do not result in high emissions.
If we don’t take actions and allow what is going on today, we are only subsidizing high energy-consuming technology and causing a great harm to future of Blockchain sector.
Under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Blockchain technology has been advocated as being capable of delivering environmental and social benefits.
However, Bitcoin and majority of crypto coins are mined using new resources that requires regular upgrades and which consume huge amounts of electricity.
The study also underlined that a single Bitcoin transaction today could provide electricity to a British home for a month.
The study also evaluated various Blockchain technologies by their carbon footprints and recommends how to tax or restrict Blockchain types at different phases of production and use to discourage polluting versions and encourage cleaner alternatives.
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