As cryptocurrency became more popular in mainstream media, it was inevitable that its drawbacks would eventually come to light. Bitcoin, in particular, has come under fire for its environmental impact recently. Some investors have taken note and even switched their stance in favor of more sustainable options.
So, how exactly is Bitcoin affecting the environment, and what are these greener cryptocurrencies that investors interested in?
We’ll touch on the latest Green Mining news below.
Bitcoin and the Environment
As the highest-earning digital coin, Bitcoin uses 1,173 kilowatts hours of electricity per transaction. This amount could power the standard American household for 6 weeks. Experts say Bitcoin uses more energy than some small countries.
The intensive energy consumption is attributed to the digital mining process. Mining requires the use of powerful computers capable of generating millions of hashes per second. This hash rate is the speed miners operate at, while the “hashes” is the action that puts more of the coin in circulation. Powerful performance doubled with how long these computers run results in huge power consumption.
As folks become more climate-conscious, they search for greener alternatives. And for environmentalist crypto gurus, this includes switching digital coins.
1. BitGreen (BITG)
BitGreen launched in late 2017 as a direct response to Bitcoin’s effects on the environment. The company also founded a non-profit to oversee project maintenance.
BITG’s mission is to incentivize eco-friendly initiatives. The platform is an energy-efficient alternative to Proof of Work cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum. Users can earn BITG through direct action, like carpooling, volunteering, or purchasing sustainable products.
2. SolarCoin (SLR)
SolarCoin is a global, decentralized cryptocurrency. Like other digital assets, SLR is purchasable and tradable. However, this platform directly encourages verifiably produced solar energy.
1 SLR coin is created for every Megawatt hour produced from solar technology. Now that’s some really green mining. As of now, the platform relies on its userbase uploading proof of this sustainable energy generation. In the future, the process may streamline, assuming solar array updates can connect with the SLR network.
3. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin. However, the developers of this blockchain made it more scalable and more sustainable.
Unlike BTC’s whopping energy consumption, ADA uses the same energy as 600 American homes. This usage isn’t per transaction, either – it’s per year.
As of now, the network only hosts a native coin. However, the Cardano team has announced their intentions of launching smart contract capability in the near future. Following this update, a few experts speculate it may overtake Ethereum in popularity. You can trade ADA on eToro or with CFDs on plus500
Eco-Conscious Crypto is Out There
There are 4,500 tokens going around – even beyond our three mentions, other sustainable options exist. And considering the rapid growth in this financial sector, more is on its way. Even existing networks – like Ethereum – are working to adapt to more sustainable network models, especially when mining for new coins.
If you’re an investor ready to switch to green crypto sooner rather than later, any of our three mentions are a good starting point. But we must still remind you that any investments in digital assets are risky, and the market is still quite volatile. Always do your due diligence before making serious investments.