At the moment, it is more profitable to cut down a tree and sell the wood than to preserve the tree. Socially speaking, it is the other way around. But why? Climate change is one of the major challenges of our time. Therefore, preserving nature has a higher long-term value than short-term profits for our society. Green or Sustainable blockchain is the first step toward preserving the environment.
Bitcoin’s yearly mining power usage totals 133.68 terawatt-hours per year, which exceeds the annual electricity needs of numerous small-to-medium-sized countries such as Argentina, Thailand, Ukraine, Sweden, and Norway.
As a result, in recent years, many projects have begun to transition toward better blockchain solutions that do not have carbon print. This guide will explore some of the most eco-friendly blockchain projects now accessible on the market. So without being, let’s get started.
Blockchain is redefining how we operate as a society, from supply chain to payment solution.
List of eco-friendly blockchain for sustainable development
Cudos is a multi-chain Layer-2 solution that links the cloud and blockchain ecosystems. It provides blockchains with Turing-complete computing and external data storage. So, It solves the most common issues of data storage in most smart contract blockchains like Ethereum. It increases network utilization, preventing network congestion & transaction delays.
Cudos is natively integrated with Cudo, Cudo’s parent company, and a distributed software platform. The Cudo network enables customers to employ specialized hardware on-demand via on-chain contract calls.
- Native Token
The CUDOS token is the Cudos Network’s native currency. It has a distributed computing platform with over 60,000 daily active devices in 145+ countries & 20,000 nodes executing various blockchain and compute workloads.
Nxt and Ardor
Jelurida is a Swiss blockchain software development firm that operates two blockchain systems: the Nxt and Ardor blockchain platforms.
- Ardor provides “Consensus as a Service.” It employs a novel parent-child architecture in which the parent chain offers security while the child chain delivers all functionality such as smart contracts.
- Nxt blockchain framework uses a Proof of Stake consensus algorithm making it environment friendly and safe.
Ardor and Nxt are highly energy-efficient because of the Proof of Stake consensus method, as opposed to Proof of Work consensus-based systems. The ecofriendly blockchains prevent the waste of a lot of electricity and rely on expensive hardware.
- Native Tokens
Ardor contains a native platform token called ARDR, and users are the validators in the Proof of Stake consensus process. Also, users are in charge of event propagation and block formation, and they keep all transaction fees generated by the blocks they create. There are no new ARDR tokens produced.
While Nxt’s Proof of Stake-based framework can expand any public or private use case.
Stellar, a cryptocurrency project forked from Ripple, was founded in 2014.
The steller produces a faster, easier, and less expensive payment processor. The cryptocurrency is built on its technology, Stellar Consensus Protocol, rather than proof of stake/proof of work. The verification procedure of this blockchain offers substantially quicker and faster, which reduces energy use.
Stellar use is exceptionally low electricity when compared to the energy required to run a standard website. It is a protocol from which other blockchain implementations – in or outside of fintech – may draw.
- Native Token
Stellar’s native token, XLM, debuted in 2014 and remained stable for the first three years, fluctuating between $0.001 to $0.005. It experienced its first positive trend in 2018, peaking at $0.89 in January.
The price has since fallen, but in 2021 it resumed its rising trajectory, hitting $0.73 in May. At the time of writing, XLM trades around $0.26 and has gained 0.2% in the last seven days.
Solana has established itself as a scalable, quick, and efficient alternative to gas-guzzling blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. It utilizes 0.0005 kWh per transaction via its proof of history consensus protocol.
However, it is more than ten times less than Ripple’s energy usage. As a result, it becomes a strong contender for the best, most environmentally friendly blockchain to engage in.
Ripple blockchain consumes less energy than Visa and Mastercard, with an average of 0.000011 KWh.
|Medium||KWh per transaction|
|Facebook Libra Cash (Euro)|
0.08 KWh per printed banknote 1.517
Recently, the blockchain commissioned outside energy and climate experts to investigate its carbon impact. It discovered that the Solana network had an annual carbon footprint of 2,500 tonnes of CO2, which is equal to the emissions of 1,178 US houses.
And the results turned out that Solana’s total climatic footprint is similar to a tiny neighborhood, not a mid-sized country.
- Native Token
Solana’s cryptocurrency SOL saw an incredibly optimistic year in 2021, rising from $1.84 to $170. Even though the price has recently decreased in pace with the negative crypto market, Solana remains the fifth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Ripple is not a blockchain, but a distributed ledger database. So its data is not organized in blocks but is dispersed among a collection of computers. Ripple acts as a payment processor that aspires to decentralization over the centralized system. Although you can find existing blockchain-based payment systems, Ripple intended to offer a system that was faster, cheaper, and scalable.
XRP has its distinct protocol technique for processing transactions. It is not energy heavy like Proof of stake. Each of its transactions consumes approximately 0.0079 kWh, making XRP one of the most energy-efficient cryptocurrencies.
- Native Token
XRP debuted at around $0.0056 at the end of 2013 and reached an all-time high in January 2018. Ripple’s token did make a comeback in 2022, surpassing $1 for the first time. However, the price has reduced and is just $0.72 at the time of writing. XRP’s price may not create waves in the cryptocurrency world, yet it is the eighth biggest by market valuation.
Yet another environmentally friendly blockchain on the list, Power Ledger, was one of the first currencies to experience a jump in 2022, rising from $0.42 on January 1 to $0.82 two days later.
Powerledger, a technology business developing decentralized energy tools, is powered by this eco-friendly coin. Its aims of decentralizing the energy business and provide consumers with additional options.
- Native Token
POWR, an ERC-20 token, assures that firms that join Powerledger dedicate themselves to the platform’s sustainability aims. It is a license that allows organizations to utilize the platform, such as utilities, microgrids, and renewable energy operators.
Powerledger released its token towards the end of 2017, and it quickly gained traction, reaching an all-time high of $2.01 on January 4, 2018. POWR has not exceeded the $1 mark since.
But it did see an uptrend in 2021. It began the year at roughly $0.10 and had quadrupled by the end of December. POWR’s recent success and commitment to renewable energy could make it a good addition to a portfolio focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns.
Cardano was a key player in the transition away from the energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) protocol. Instead of employing computers to solve complicated puzzles, it carries out the transactions via proof of stake (PoS).
Cardano has become one of the most eco-friendly cryptocurrencies. As it only uses 0.54 kWh of energy for every transaction, significantly less than bitcoin’s massive 707kWh.The blockchain has also shown a dedication to broader long-term goals like planting trees.
- Native Token
Cardano’s native cryptocurrency, ADA, debuted in late 2017 at around $0.02 and experienced an initial rise in early 2018. In 2021, ADA began a robust growth and surpassed $3. Cardano had fallen to roughly $1.10 by January 2022. However, as the 7th biggest cryptocurrency by market size, the eco-friendly cryptocurrency could have a bright year ahead of it.
Algorand claims to be the “greenest blockchain.” The blockchain is carbon negative. It actively reduces emissions rather than emitting CO2.
This was made feasible through a collaboration with the environmental consulting business ClimateTrade. The collaboration established a “green treasury” to fund conservation projects implementing good climate action.
The company also tracks the blockchain’s carbon footprint after a specific number of blocks to verify it is genuinely carbon zero.
Algorand has developed a unique protocol known as pure proof of stake consuming less energy. The protocol is what assists it in meeting its sustainability aim. It claims that the energy required to run a network node is “negligible.” And users can accomplish this on a simple device like a Raspberry Pi, which is used to teach basic computer science.
- Native Token
Algo debuted in 2019 at $2.16 and has failed to maintain that price since then. However, 2021 was a prosperous year for the eco-friendly coin. It peaked at $2.37 in September but is now hanging around $1.30.
Need Of The Environment Friendly Blockchain
The environmental consequences of blockchain technology derive from its high energy consumption. Adding a new block to a chain needs a significant amount of energy. Several studies have shown that the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm used in many blockchains, including Bitcoin, consumes a lot of energy.
PoW, in particular, necessitates a large amount of computation or processing power. This alone requires a substantial amount of energy. Furthermore, computer systems involved in blockchain transaction processing require appropriate cooling to prevent overheating and hardware damage, necessitating additional energy input.
So, the world needs more blockchain in renewable energy sector that can help save energy while using less energy themselves. Specific options like PoS replace the proof-of-work (PoW) as a much more sustainable option. However, some blockchains even steeped afar and developed protocols that even beat the PoS. PoS or PoA consumes less energy than PoW.
The UN brief also stated that when blockchains are economically implemented and scaled up, energy usage can be reduced. With the right protocols, blockchain can offer no energy usage conflicts due to their low number of complete nodes.
Top 10 Eco-Friendly Blockchain
- Solana – The average cost per transaction is only $0.00025.
- Cardano – Bitcoin’s 7 transactions a second, Cardano can achieve 1000 per second.
- Polkadot – Lowest Carbon Footprint Blockchain
- Near Protocol – Climate Neutral Product Label by the South Pole.
- Nano – Nano is free, fast, and uses considerably less energy than Bitcoin.
Sum up on Green Blockchain
The crypto community is increasingly becoming convinced about the unsustainability of the current system both environmentally and economically.
Ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency, has recognized this and intends to transition from proof of work to proof of stake. It is hoped that this would reduce transaction speeds & energy consumption and that it will signal a significant shift in the crypto sector.
While some investors & blockchains may prioritize ESG aims while investing, there is still a gas-guzzling problem: bitcoin. Every year, the largest cryptocurrency consumes 91 terawatts of electricity, which is more than Finland consumes. To become green, cryptocurrencies must create an environmentally friendly answer to an unsustainable coin.