Blockchain Vs. Climate Change: Points Highlighting Differences

  • By providing transparent and verifiable carbon credit trading systems and assisting in the correct tracking and validation of emission reductions, blockchain technology can significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change. 
  • Climate change requires immediate and effective efforts. Action must be sped up to achieve higher ambition, and certain issues must be resolved. 

Digital payments can be verified via a decentralized, automated ‘proof-of-work’ (PoW) consensus procedure thanks to Bitcoin’s computationally intensive infrastructure. To add legitimate entries to a common database and secure fresh Bitcoins as a reward, Bitcoin transactions must be validated by miners utilizing specialized servers to solve hash problems. 

These puzzles regularly adapt in complexity to consider connected computing power fluctuations and to maintain a 10-minute gap between the insertion of each new block. Although the process’s anticipated carbon footprint is substantial, estimates are widely varied due to the numerous unknowns. According to Mora et al., the computing power required for the Bitcoin network alone might cause a 2°C increase in global temperature by 2050.

Creation Of Climate-Aware Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is the base of Bitcoin and all the other ‘altcoins’ have made their way to follow its ascent. The mechanism’s distributed and stable electronically operated database, also known as ‘blockchain,’ keeps a record of every transaction that has occurred through the network. Data is preserved in the form of secured cryptographic ‘blocks’ that are closely connected with the help of a ‘chain.’ Cryptocurrencies are simply one of the many uses for blockchain, even if Bitcoin was its initial application. 

Government record-keeping, monitoring the flow of products and services along supply networks, voting, and citizen identification verification are a few examples of blockchain uses. Due to its use of algorithms to enable ‘smart contracts,’ blockchain technology also offers capabilities well beyond those of a standard database.

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Self-executing code offers safe electronic collaboration tools that don’t need a centralized mediator to mediate between parties engaged in transactions. These parties can trust the veracity of the data stored in their shared databases, even though they might not necessarily trust one another. Each blockchain may employ a different consensus mechanism for certifying data, even though they all follow the same core methodology based on a peer-to-peer network and support a permanent and secure ledger. These blockchain validation protocols vary in their level of energy consumption. 

The Effects Of A Blockchain Climate Fix On Society

Blockchain initiatives have global environmental effects, and their decentralized governance models are global as well, but they have local effects as well. Each has a localized social consequence that frequently exacerbates underlying inequality. Poseidon’s income from crypto-carbon sales is utilized to pay back loans from the projects’ private investors rather than going to the projects’ local host communities. 

The project does not actively encourage any additional tree-planting efforts beyond those that have already occurred, nor does it provide residents with cash compensation.

Increased market access is being achieved by tying carbon credits to cryptocurrencies, but despite providing a supposedly ‘reliable’ and convenient method of exchanging carbon commodities, cryptocurrencies are currently unable to accurately capture the dynamic materiality of forests or the communities that depend on them for their livelihood.

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