Renewable Energy Initiatives in the Cryptocurrency IndustrySeptember 22, 2020
For a short period, 2020 saw a drastic improvement in the natural environment. For the first time most likely since the second industrial revolution, the world took a massive and simultaneous step back from mass transport and industry technology use. During the lockdown periods in many places around the globe, including huge nations like China, India, and the US, all heavy industries ground to a halt.
Commercial transport, just like mass transit and individual transportation, took a big pause as the global population and its governments tried to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. As this took place, many measurements of the environment suddenly improved. From the more visual and news-friendly things like the return of marine life to the canals of Venice to the drastic clearing of air in Chinese megapolis cities, things were looking up for nature. Yet, as the lockdowns stood down, so did the world return to its normal way of operating. Also, even with the smaller intensity of industrial output, commerce, and trade, nature reminded humanity that a few months of staying at home do not fix the environment.
On the western coast of the US, red skies recently haunted the inhabitants of cities like San Francisco. More inland and across the shoreline, the death toll from the fires continues to rise, just as the devastation in 12 US states becomes ever greater. Now, there is no time to stop the discussion about global climate change and how it can be slowed down and impacted for the better. As a big user of electric energy, the crypto industry has to be a member of that discussion. The good news among all of these negative ones is the fact that the same industry is coming to some unique and innovative solutions.
While the industry is changing when it comes to sustainability in energy use and expenditure, the change was coming slowly during the previous years. The overlap between experts on climate change in industrial settings and the cryptocurrency businesses was small. Yet, despite this, everyone is gradually realizing that the fate of the same industry – like any other for that matter – is inexplicably linked to the fate of the natural environment. The same fact is something that comes with a lot of ideological and political charges.
Still, things like the fires in Oregon and California show that while global climate change is a massive planetary issue, its effect can be very localized and beyond devastating. At the same time, it looks more and more like this decentralized issue is by no means handled well by very centralized systems – these being national governments. These entities are not famous for their ability to agree on policies, but even less on how to enforce it. This sadly applies to countries just as much as regional and global climate deals. Because of this, many feel it is time for a decentralized governance approach and entire strategies that reside on blockchain tech.
The key element, as more and more people realize, are individual local actors, whoever they might be. These can be cities, villages, regions, or even individual NGOs, associations in domains like agriculture or private individuals. Decentralized tools would allow them to engage in self-enrollment programs that would impact their immediate surroundings, but also the world as a whole. All the while, it would be a blockchain-based system that would organize these actors through a decentralized strategy of governance that would have the approval of all engaged parties.
The system would be able to include data from the ground and thus provide immutable records of the same environmental information. That information would be the basis for any future decisions that the system uses. It would also allow these users to make changes and adapt their approach using the most up-to-date information and data that has not been tampered with by any other side. This resource of data might seem simplistic and like an obvious element, but the reality on the ground shows that it is not ever-present. Instead, local actors need again to access data from centralized systems, creating additional lag time, as well as hindering the support and confidence of the local communities.
While there is clearly a lot of potential in the possibility of using blockchain technology for environmental purposes, most are focusing on a different aspect of the cryptocurrency industry in this field. Simply put, people are worried about the incredible rate of energy consumption that comes from using cryptocurrency mining rigs for the process of generating BTC tokens and any other digital currency that utilizes a proof of work system.
These concerns are valid, but it is also important to recognize that the cryptocurrency industry is working hard on this problem as well. Even if some are oblivious to the environmental danger, which is not many, there is a clear business aspect to this problem. Less energy expenditure and more renewable energy sources also mean higher profits for the miners. Similar to esports, social media, and many other digital ventures, cryptocurrency also includes the notion that sustainable business is not just socially responsible, but also instrumental for keeping that bottom line in the green and positive zone.
Both the issue of renewable energy sources and the use of blockchain technology as a means of overcoming the problems of centralized governance is part of the same wider space. This space will have to include a lot of innovations and a lot of mentality changes when it comes to the way individuals, organizations, companies, and even governments do business and resolve problems. As most of the time, the core problem is really not a lack of viable technological options.
Instead, it is the necessity to change the way people think about these challenges. An identical thing can be said for the entire planet and practically all of us on it. As long as humanity sticks to its old guns, the prospect of meaningful and lasting change Is slim. Yet, as a new when growing domain, the cryptocurrency industry can be a leader in this process of change.