Cryptocurrencies have been around for quite some time, and they have proved to be the next big thing in the world of finance due to the financial freedom they offer and the wide range of use cases. However, these digital currencies came with some challenges as this field is still new. These challenges include security, scalability, market decline, and the most overlooked challenge, environmental damage resulting from gaseous emissions that emanate during mining.
This problem is more common with cryptocurrencies that employ a Proof of Work consensus mechanism because it requires mining to mint new tokens and create new blocks consuming a very high level of electrical energy in the process.
Nevertheless, some crypto startups and organizations take note of these challenges and put the welfare of others ahead of their gain by making amendments to their projects.
In this article, we will talk in-depth about the harm environmentally unfriendly cryptocurrencies cause society and list a few cryptocurrencies that are very friendly to the world's ecosystem.
Why Is Crypto Bad For The Environment?
Cryptocurrencies consume a lot of energy to run operations like buying, selling, staking, yield farming, etc. However, cryptocurrencies that carry out activities like mining consume energy on another level due to the high computational power needed to complete a mining process.
Bitcoin, the king of cryptocurrencies, is said to consume 120 terawatts per hour, equivalent to Sweden's yearly domestic energy consumption during mining.
In addition, Digiconomist, a platform dedicated to bringing to light the unknown economic dangers or consequences of new digital trends, said that the amount of energy consumed during a single Bitcoin transaction is powerful enough to power an average American home in a month.
This, in turn, generates carbon emissions that are a million times more than a single transaction with a bank debit card. Carbon waste, as we know, is responsible for the unstable weather behavior of our planets leading to global warming.
Global warming, in turn, is not a joke because it will affect food, environmental conditions, water supplies, sea levels, and weather patterns. All these are just a few of the hazards carbon emissions pose to the ecological fate of the world.
Further such high levels of energy consumption sooner or later will cause a significant strain on the electrical energy available for domestic use, which could eventually lead to total blackouts in some areas of the world.
The energy consumption of Bitcoin we just analyzed is only one out of the hundreds of cryptocurrencies that carry out mining activities. Indeed, some cryptocurrencies pose a significant danger to the survival of man and this planet.
Can Crypto Become More Sustainable?
There is an urgent need to decarbonize the world's ecosystem before 2030; that same year, the crypto market is predicted to be valued at $4.94 trillion, therefore it will be a major milestone in the history of cryptocurrencies, but more importantly, it will be a significant year for planet earth because failure to make a drastic reduction of carbon emission will prompt global warming to rise instead of dropping to 1.5°c.
Some argue that the drastic measure the world needs to take is to reduce the use of fossil fuels and channel effort into using renewable energies like solar and wind which are overabundant in our ecosystem. They also believe that crypto mining will be very efficient in putting these excessive fuels to use, thereby cutting out the use of fossil fuels resulting in a sustainable cryptocurrency that is environmentally friendly.
Another thing is the encouragement of the widespread adoption of the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism in the crypto industry due to their shelving of mining and replacing it with staking, leading to less consumption of energy and, in turn, fewer carbon emissions. Proof of Stake blockchains are also more efficient, scalable, and transparent than their predecessor, Proof of Work. However, they are still lacking in terms of security provided by PoW. Any digital currency that employs this consensus mechanism will prove to be hazard free to our planet in terms of energy consumed during transactions.
We can't downplay the economic benefits of cryptocurrencies even in the event of the danger they pose, but if all these measures are implemented, all cryptocurrencies could transition to green cryptocurrencies upholding energy efficiency while reducing carbon footprint.
15 Most Environmentally Friendly Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin, the king of cryptocurrencies, is currently among the digital coins contributing to environmental hazards due to mining activities. Many cryptocurrencies like Cardano (ADA), Alogrand (ALGO), and Stellar Lumens (XML), on the other hand, have taken a close look at the damage caused by mining activities and decided to employ a safer way to run cryptographic operations and not comprising efficiency at the same time. This led to the birth of Proof Of Stake, with Cardano (ADA) as the largest blockchain platform using the mechanism prior to the transition of Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency to PoS.
All the digital assets that operate on a Proof of Stake algorithm are known as green cryptocurrencies; in this section, we will highlight a few of such currencies and why they are regarded as the most eco-friendly cryptocurrency.
Cardano (ADA) The Most Environmentally Friendly Crypto In The Industry
Cardano blockchain was built as a worthy competitor to the Ethereum network as its founder was one of the leading developers of Ethereum. However, instead of PoW, it achieves consensus using a Proof of Stake Algorithm known as Ouroboros.
Nevertheless, like the Ethereum network, it leverages Smart Contract functionalities to execute transactions. But its PoS nature makes it extremely fast, scalable and more transparent than Ethereum due to low energy consumption from staking compared to the high computational energy required for Ethereum to run mining operations and execute transactions.
Cardano (ADA) is currently regarded as the top green cryptocurrency because it's the first crypto to use PoS. It has achieved much in the industry even with its low energy consumption, reducing carbon waste from the atmosphere.
Algorand (ALGO)-An eco-friendly cryptocurrency
Algo is another low-energy cryptocurrency that employs a rare breed Pure Proof of Stake consensus algorithm (PPos) but, more importantly, is very eco-friendly. The coin is the native token of the Algorand blockchain and serves the purpose of utility and governance on the platform. The platform was created by Silvio Micali, an Italian computer scientist, in 2017 as a solution to Blockchain Trilemma Speed, decentralization, and security. Algo powers the network and currently ranks 29th in the crypto market according to Coin Market Cap.
This coin is also known as the green cryptocurrency. It is counted as one of the most environmentally friendly cryptocurrencies due to the goal of the blockchain that created it, Xenios. This name of the platform originates from a Greek terminology that means hospitality. They aim to make the crypto industry environmentally friendly. Starting with themselves, they created a coin that consumes less energy, and more so, they replaced the whitepaper with "green paper."
XeniosCoin, their native token currently worth $0.22, is ranked 640th in the crypto market according to Coin Market Cap.
This organization was created to encourage the building of a safer ecosystem by incentivizing people with environmental behavior worthy of emulation with carbon credits for activities like carpooling, volunteering for community service, and drinking sustainable coffee.
The platform was founded in 2021 by Adam Carver as a blockchain network designed to make the world a better place by using smart contract technology to pool funds for less privileged markets and communities through dApps that cover a wide range of services like recycling, carbon credits, supply chain, renewable energy, financial inclusion, and energy conservation.
In addition, they are thoroughly invested in the widespread adoption of renewable energy, and they encourage investors to provide financial support with their crypto renewable energy projects.
They also provide support to the wildlife on land by purchasing carbon credits. Bitgreen is currently among the top green blockchains in the industry consuming over 99% less energy compared to traditional blockchains.
Solar coin (SLR)
Just like its name implies, Solarcoin is the perfect example of another green crypto because it leverages the use of renewable energy like Solar to create its token. It works that for every megawatt per hour generated on solar technology, 1 solarcoin is minted.
The minting process will not only encourage people to adopt the use of Solar energy, but it will also protect our ecosystem from hazardous substances that erupt from carbon combustion.
Currently, the Solarcoin platform heavily relies on third parties to prove energy generation through the uploading of documentation, however as time goes by, they may transition to a better way that involves automatic updates with the use of Smart contracts
Solarcoin is also a decentralized cryptocurrency presently valued at $0.0044, having a total supply of 97.5 billion tokens, and is available for purchase on prominent crypto exchanges like Binance, Spectrocoin, Paxful, e.t.c.
Chia is another Blockchain platform that assists in cutting down on carbon footprint in the atmosphere through the use of a consensus protocol named Proof of Space-Time which allows them to take advantage of the space on the hard drive to run decentralized operations. Their users are rewarded with XCH tokens, a digital currency created in 2017 to tackle the problem of excessive energy consumption during mining activities.
Even though Chia itself employs mining, it consumes only a minute quantity of energy compared to a currency like Bitcoin. In addition, farming XCH tokens is very easy, requiring no special equipment and, more importantly, consuming very little energy.
How it works is that an individual needs to devote a portion of their hard drive to the Chia mainnet by downloading the software on their PC. Once done, the mining begins using only a part of the computer's hard drive without affecting its performance significantly.
The platform was launched in 2015 as a free, fast, scalable, and secure Blockchain network that consumes less energy due to the Open Representative Voting consensus that shelves mining; instead, account holders unanimously vote a representative to confirm the minting of new blocks.
However, this consensus mechanism is still reliant on PoW, but rather than involving an entire linear Blockchain as Bitcoin does, users' data are updated asynchronously on Nano Blockchain.
XNO, the native token of the platform, was designed to create a top-tier peer-to-peer experience during transactions due to their no waiting policy, and they can handle 125 transactions per second on the block. Currently, XNO is worth $0.81, ranking 180th in the crypto market with a market capitalization of over $107 million, according to Coin Market Cap.
The coin has a total supply of 133,248,297 tokens, which are all presently in circulation in the crypto market.
This cryptocurrency also makes the list of the most eco-friendly cryptocurrency in the industry due to running on a Fast Probability consensus algorithm which relies on PoW in part but consumes very minute energy, 0.11watt per hour compared to PoW.
The IOTA platform, compared to other financial networks like Mastercard, is still taking the lead in terms of energy consumption; cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are far behind IOTA with regards to cutting down energy consumption and delivering efficient services at the same time.
MIOTA, the platform's native token, currently ranks 58 in the crypto market and is valued at $0.281 with a market cap of over $781 million and a total supply of over 2 billion tokens. It is available on OKX, BingX, Bybit, Binance, and XT.COM.
Power Ledger (POWR)
Powerledger platform facilitates transactions through operating systems that leverage renewable energy sources like solar and wind, also devoting their resources to tracking the usage of such energy sources. They argue that centralized power grids are currently incapable of diligently monitoring minute-to-minute input and energy output. That's why they offer a distributed ledger network that assists producers in tracking energy usage, tracing its movements, and trading it in real-time, resulting in stable and more resilient energy grids.
POWR, the native token of the platform, functions as a standard ERC-20 token because it was initially built on the Ethereum network in 2016; however, Powerledger migrated to Solana in 2021 due to the enhanced scalability on Solana base code which was not available on the ETH network. POWR currently ranks 196 in the crypto market and is worth $0.1962, having a market cap of over $95 million and a total supply of 1 billion tokens.
Stellar Lumens (XML)
This platform was forked from ripple, a payment network founded in 2012, and follows in the footsteps of its predecessor as a payment network. An amazing feature of the network is that they don't collect charges from individuals and institutions for using their platform, making it a worthy replacement for several payment networks like PayPal, coupled with their speed of executing cross-border and cross-asset transactions.
Lumen, the native token of the platform, plays a vital role in facilitating transactions enforced on blockchains at a cent fraction rate resulting in less energy consumption. The network is also friendly to developers and institutions, encouraging them to build tokens on their platform resulting in some using the network as a medium for investing in renewable energy.
An added reason the platform can reduce its carbon footprint is its consensus protocol known as SCP, which is open source and reliable due to the Federated Byzantine algorithm behind the protocol making it an eco-friendly cryptocurrency
Tron is a Blockchain network that runs on rare decentralized governance consisting of a two-tier model, the Super representative, and Super representative partners. All account holders are eligible to become Super representatives and, in turn, vote for SRs
The platform was founded in 2014 by Justin Sun, a Chinese crypto entrepreneur and businessman setting up a Singapore-based base; Tronix, their native token, was released in March 2018.
The Peer to Peer transaction on the network is top-notch because it allows creators to share access to their dApps directly on the Blockchain, making the whole process very easy and energy efficient. Tronix, the native token of the platform, currently ranks 15th in the crypto market and is valued at $0.0625 with a market cap of over $5 billion.
The token is very effective in terms of Blockchain gaming, and the Tron network has partnered with numerous Play to Earn platforms to achieve its purpose of becoming a cornerstone in decentralized gaming.
Devvio is counted among the most eco-friendly cryptocurrency in the industry due to its affiliation with the ESG (Environment Social Governance) space. The platform uses very minute energy compared to the level of consumption of other blockchains like Bitcoin. The developers and founders behind the network explain that their platform uses the millionth percent of the energy that Bitcoin uses, making them one of the platforms that generate far fewer greenhouse gases in the industry.
Devvio is a layer 2 Blockchain protocol based on sharding with a Proof of Validation consensus mechanism able to facilitate 8 million transactions per second; in addition, thousands of these shards can be latched onto these shards resulting in a distributed ledger able to execute tens of millions of transactions per seconds.
However, some crypto enthusiasts argue that while the platform's native token Dev protocol has the potential to become a prominent green cryptocurrency, its platform team has very few members and the organization itself is chronically understaffed. Nevertheless, the token is presently valued at $0.294 and ranks 1792 in the crypto market according to Coin Market Cap.
Holochain ( HOT)
Holo is counted among the top green crypto in the industry due to its top-notch peer-to-peer applications that ensure speedy transactions and its native token that shelves mining. This results in a low-energy cryptocurrency that requires a minute quantity of energy to run operations.
The platform is one of a kind because it does not rely on the common consensus mechanism available in the industry; instead, it manages distributed data integrity. All users provide a dedicated portion of their hard drive enabling the P2P web to function on a large scale without centralized data servers or infrastructures. However, this depends solely on the number of users. Nevertheless, Holochain still relies on a consensus of validation rules (DNA) to define the integrity of such distributed data.
HOT, the native token of the platform, was designed as an ERC-20 token and was minted in 2018. But prior to it was Holofuel, whose main goal was to serve as a means to pay hosts for their services on the network
MetaHash is a decentralized, fast, and efficient network that enables the forging of tokens with low-key hardware that consumes less energy. It employs a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, encompassing the whole package associated with PoS consensus, namely speed, scalability, and efficiency.
However, it migrated to multiple consensus mechanisms to solve the issue of decentralization. Thus by incorporating a multi-layered validation process, the platform is protected from the corruption that may erupt from corrupted network entities through the voting out and rebuilding the network by other entities.
The platform was designed and co-founded by Glen Nikitin, a serial entrepreneur with vast experience of over 20 years in developing large-scale technological projects. Also, the founder of Adsniper, an organization based on automated ad placement systems.
MHC is one of the four masterpiece projects by Metahash, and the rest are MetaApps, Trace chain, and MetaGate. MHC is currently worth $0.00176, ranking 886th in the crypto market with a market cap of over $ 6 million.
Harmony is a cross-chain dApps built on the Ethereum network that uses a Proof of Stake algorithm to achieve consensus. It was designed to create a bridge between creators and consumers of NFTs, enabling Lightning speed transactions with a 2 seconds throughput finality and impressive scalability.
Harmony runs operations using a Federated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (FBFT) algorithm which reduces energy consumption per transaction and at the same time boosts speed and security, making it eco-friendly crypto. ONE, the native token of the platform, was launched in June 2019 and currently ranks 117th in the crypto market and is worth about $0.019 with a market cap of over $247million.
The platform was created by Stephen Tse, a graduate of security protocols and compiler verification from the University of Pennsylvania. Before founding Harmony, he worked as a researcher at Microsoft and a senior infrastructure engineer at Google, making him gain a wealth of experience.
Avalanche is one of the fastest Blockchain in the industry. It has a time to finality of 4500 transactions per second. The platform achieves consensus using the Proof of Stake protocol giving impressive scaling abilities and efficiency. It's compatible with the ETH programming language. Still, it's gaining more popularity among NFT developers, Blockchain gaming, and several other DeFi projects because of its low transaction cost compared to the Ethereum network.
AVAX, the platform's native token, is worth $17 and ranks number 16 in the crypto market. It serves the purpose of utility and governance for the Avalanche network; also, it's available for staking on the platform staking pool and is listed for purchase on several crypto platforms like DeepCoin, BingX, e.t.c.
Frequently Asked Questions About Green Cryptocurrencies.
People ask a lot of questions regarding eco-friendly cryptocurrencies; in this section, we treat a few of them that are very common
Is There An Ecological Cryptocurrency
Some cryptocurrencies are very friendly to the ecological structure of the world's ecosystem because they run their operations in a way that will drastically cut back on gaseous emission, they are known as green cryptos, and an excellent example is XeniosCoin.
Which Crypto Uses The Least Energy?
Cardano (ADA) is currently the cryptocurrency that consumes the least amount of energy by using only 48,851 kilowatt hours per year. It's a proof of stake blockchain, giving it excellent scalability and enabling it to become one of the most environmentally friendly cryptocurrency
Is Solana Green?
Solana is a decentralized blockchain that employs a Proof of Stake protocol to achieve consensus. Therefore it's an energy-efficient cryptocurrency that reduces the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Is XRP Eco-friendly?
XRP, the native token of the Ripple platform, is very eco-friendly compared to other blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum because it uses a consensus mechanism that is energy efficient, scalable, and cost-effective resulting in less energy consumption and, in turn, fewer carbon footprints.