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What Are the Most Sustainable Cryptocurrencies?

Last updated: June 28, 2022

What are the most sustainable cryptocurrencies, and why should we care? Cryptocurrency such as GSX cryptocurrency can make investors a ton of money. However, people who care about sustainability and the planet are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin are having on the environment.

The biggest problem is that most cryptocurrencies don't have environmental credentials. The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index reports that every year, Bitcoin mining uses enough electricity to boil water for tea in the United Kingdom for 30 years. The good news is that there are low energy cryptocurrency options.

Cryptocurrency and the Environment

How does cryptocurrency mining affect the environment?

It has to do with the computer processing power levels that are required to mine such cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

To mine most cryptocurrency, you need:

  • Huge amounts of electricity that powers complex algorithms
  • High-powered devices (computers) that have to compete for verifying transactions that are exchanged for coins
  • Energy sources that are non-renewable, including coal, which is the fossil fuel that is dirtiest

NFTs and the Environment

What about NFTs? How do they affect the environment? NFTs, non-fungible tokens, use blockchain technology for claiming proof of ownership of valuable items such as virtual property or digital artwork.

Because NFTs run mostly on the Ethereum blockchain system, the generation requires a lot of power. For example, if you sell one piece of artwork, the Ethereum used has the same carbon footprint as a one-hour airplane flight.

How Bitcoin Affects the Environment

The Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index reports that bitcoin mining uses more energy every year than the countries of Sweden and Malaysia. China is primarily reliant on coal power, and since most Bitcoin mining takes place in China, this makes the problem even worse.

When the price for Bitcoin soars, the amount of fossil fuel used to mine it also goes up.

9 Green Cryptocurrency Options

The Texas firm TRG Datacenters has analyzed several different cryptocurrencies and ranked them in terms of how much energy is needed to power every transaction. If you want green cryptocurrency, check out some of these Bitcoin alternatives.

1. Algorand

As of April 22, 2021, Algorand (ALGO) is officially carbon neutral. They partnered with ClimateTrade, a leader in carbon emissions traceability and transparency. 

The partnership with ClimateTrade allowed ALGO to work with corporations worldwide to enhance sustainability efforts. 

ALGO has its own nonprofit organization behind it, the Algorand Foundation, which envisions an entire community of mainstream and blockchain developers who will use the platform for the support of sustainable endeavors. 

2. Nano

Nano wasn't included in TRG Datacenters energy-use listings, but they still highlighted it even though it runs like Bitcoin on a proof-of-work basis. Here are some things to know about Nano.

  • This cryptocurrency uses a protocol called Open Representative Voting (ORV) to increase efficiency and reduce energy use.
  • You can freely trade Nano transfers instantly.
  • Nano reduces waste that's associated with cryptocurrency.

3. Chia

This cryptocurrency was designed to use less energy. Chia is farmed by hard drives instead of mining, whereas Bitcoin relies on computer processing. Once you download the software, your computer can do all of the plotting work and begin to farm Chia.

You can farm Chia coins on hard drives of desktop computers and laptops. For home users, Chia is a great option because it doesn't need large amounts of electricity.

4. DEVVIO

The DEVVIO founders claim that their cryptocurrency uses one millionth of the energy used by Bitcoin. Moreover, DEVVIO also generates far fewer greenhouse gasses. 

You can use the DEVVIO system to enable carbon credits markets, authenticate green certifications, and make sustainability project financing easier. 

5. SolarCoin

This sustainable cryptocurrency is independent, and it's designed to promote solar energy creation. SolarCoin gives solar coins to reward generators.

If you're a SolarCoin generator, you can claim one coin for each megawatt-hour that you create with solar energy technology.

6. BitGreen

An eco friendly currency that was launched as a Bitcoin alternative, Bitgreen rewards users for such actions as car-pooling, drinking sustainable coffee, and doing volunteer work.

You can trade Bitgreen on exchanges and spend it with Bitgreen partners.

7. Cardano

The most well-known green crypto is Cardano (ADA), which also happens to be the fifth-largest cryptocurrency (as of this writing). Cardano uses just 0.5479kWh (kilowatts of energy per hour).

Ouroboros is a proof-of-stake peer-reviewed blockchain-based system that is used by Cardano. To join this network, you have to purchase tokens, so this system saves significant energy amounts.

The best thing about Ouroboros is that it can be scaled to meet global requirements with no need to sacrifice security or sustainability.

8. IOTA

The "Tangle" is an alternative technology that doesn't require the use of miners. Equally important, IOTA hasn't been shown to be as volatile as some other tokens. 

Smaller devices maintain the Tangle, so it has much lower requirements for energy.

9. Ripple (XRP)

XRP's website says that the cryptocurrency expects to be carbon net-zero by the year 2030. For one thing, all of the native cryptocurrency has already been mined, and transactions were settled in less than five seconds. 

FAQs

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about green cryptocurrency. 

Which cryptocurrency is the greenest?

According to TRG Datacenters, IOTA has the smallest impact on the environment. 

Are all cryptocurrencies bad for the environment?

No, there are some cryptocurrencies that have a mess smaller impact on the environment.

What is the most sustainable cryptocurrency?

According to TRG Datacenters, these three cryptocurrencies are the most energy efficient.

  • Chia (0.023kWh)
  • XRP (0.0079 kWh)
  • IOTA (0.00011kWh)

Is Dogecoin bad for the environment?

According to TRG Datacenters, Dogecoin is much better for the environment than Bitcoin. While Bitcoin uses 707kWh, Dogecoin uses just 0.12kWh.


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