Polkadot, Cardano, Solana Forerun Bitcoin, Ether As Crypto Assets With Least Carbon Footprints

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Polkadot, Cardano, Solana Forerun Bitcoin, Ethereum As Crypto Assets With The Least Carbon Footprints
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With the debate on the energy consumption of various crypto blockchains raging on, a new report now shows how various top blockchain networks relate in terms of power consumption.

According to a recent report by Ulrich Gallersdörfer, Lena Klaaßen, and Christian Stoll of the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute, Polkadot topped when compared to a list of six other proof of stake (POS) blockchains, by having the lowest electricity consumption and carbon emissions per year.

Cardano on the other hand emerged as the network with the lowest energy per node per year while Solana was blockchain with the lowest electricity usage per transaction.

The report also evaluated the economic value secured on the POS networks in relation to their electric consumption. Again Polkadot emerged as the most environmentally friendly network with a $19.18(RM 80.20) per kilowatt-hour versus Solana which stood at $4,395 (RM18,377). Avalanche turned out to be the most expensive at $18,454 (RM77,165)per kilowatt-hour.

Bitcoin on the other side has remained a top concern with various entities maintaining that its carbon footprint is unsustainably high. Elon Musk, just to mention a few, has been one of the greatest critics of Bitcoin’s POW blockchain, insisting that Bitcoin mining has to achieve a 50% plus renewable energy usage rate to remain sustainable.

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A recent report on Bitcoin’s energy consumption by Coinshares has shown that despite Bitcoin’s energy consumption remaining low compared to total global energy usage per year, its energy consumption rate has been surging.

As per the report, the Bitcoin network drew 75 TWh of electricity in 2020 with that figure shooting as high as 93TWh in November 2021. July 2021 saw the lowest energy usage at 54TWh as Chinese miners shut down operations following a government ban on crypto mining.

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The report, however, dismissed fears about Bitcoin’s environmental impact, citing that mining the cryptocurrency paused insignificant threats. Currently, the asset’s emissions stand at 0.8% of the world’s total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year while its global total energy consumption is 0.05%.

“This strikes us as a small cost for a global monetary system, and on the global energy balance sheet, it amounts to a rounding error”.

That said, there have been efforts to improve Bitcoin’s carbon footprint with a recent report by the Bitcoin Mining Council showing that 46% of crypto miners are using effective mining methods. With Ethereum expected to transition to a POS network hopefully before year-end, experts believe this will be a big boost towards realizing a carbon-free mining environment for cryptocurrencies.