The future of greener cryptocurrency is here. The next-generation crypto, Bitcoin Latinum, is expected to be less energy-intensive, lower cost, and more efficient than its counterpart, Bitcoin.
The surging interest surrounding cryptocurrency has prompted many to jump aboard this futuristic currency. One of the most notable forms of crypto is Bitcoin, a type of currency founded in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Since its inception, the crypto has defied what many believed to be an inevitable disaster by skyrocketing to its current price of just over $44,000 per share. The allure of Bitcoin comes from the public desire to disengage banks via decentralization or peer-to-peer currency.
According to Investopedia, Bitcoin has had a shaky expansion since its founding, making it one of the more volatile, yet still popular, cryptocurrencies in the world. This growth has encouraged mainstream adoption and the more recent government approval. Just last month, El Salvador became the first country in the world to officially declare bitcoin a legal tender.
Despite this, the growing concern for climate change coupled with the unexpected demand for crypto has led many to question the environmental impact of this decentralized currency. More and more data is being released indicating the significant footprint that crypto carries. This has led to an increase in consumer demand for sustainable alternatives to be implemented into the industry.
How Bad is Cryptocurrency for the Environment?
One of the main environmental factors regarding crypto results from mining; the process in which high-tech software and complex coding systems are utilized to mine for a new cryptocurrency. Once mined, the new coins are added to a ledger where they enter into circulation for purchase.
The process of working with complex coding systems uses an immense amount of energy, resulting in an extraordinarily high environmental footprint. According to an article published by Princeton University, Bitcoin produces an annual carbon footprint of 34.75 megatons, equivalent to the yearly energy usage of the entire country of New Zealand. Further, Nature Climate Change released a report in 2018 stating that Bitcoin alone could push the global warming temperature past 2°C by 2050; half a degree Celsius higher than the recommended global temperature from the Paris Agreement.
Que Bitcoin Latinum
Bitcoin Latinum essentially contains all the positives of traditional Bitcoin without as many environmental downsides. Bitcoin Latinum is a Bitcoin hard fork that aims to utilize its namesake's algorithm, source code, and protocol to improve upon its flaws and make the currency less energy-intensive, more secure, and faster.
This next-generation crypto has just recently joined the Crypto Climate Accord, a treaty inspired by the Paris Agreement to decarbonize cryptocurrency and the blockchain process. This private sector-led initiative has already garnered a fair amount of participants who have agreed to support the development of new technology and lowering their environmental footprint.
Bitcoin Latinum utilizes a Proof of Stake (PoS) model that provides added mining rights to crypto miners that have bigger sums of coins. This form of mining allows for a greater amount of crypto to be generated at once, resulting in lower energy consumption than the Proof of Work (PoW) system that Bitcoin is currently using.
PoS consensus model also allows for Bitcoin Latinum to have a true democratic eco-system. The crypto utilizes a representative government model that allows its community to participate in various mechanisms and existing protocols. This benefit can aid in the popularity of Bitcoin Latinum as many individuals are yearning for more involvement in their currency.
A representative from the Bitcoin Latinum Foundation states that, “We understand the necessity for cryptocurrency mining and hosting companies to expedite the use of renewable energy solutions to reduce emissions and advance toward net-zero electricity consumption emissions. We are thrilled to be a part of this project.”
The future of cryptocurrency is currently unpredictable. With the growing technological advancements, demand for crypto, and ever-changing industry, it is nearly impossible to determine the fate of this once revolutionary currency.
Nevertheless, the introduction of new inventions is typically when said invention is a low point of development. With more time, interest, and investments, most inventions improve significantly from their original prototype. This same concept can be applied to cryptocurrency. The likelihood of the currency gaining an even larger environmental footprint is low, as its current state is forecasted to only improve with time.
Finally, with the rise in public awareness of climate change and some parts of the world already beginning to witness ramifications, it is easy to see how some individuals might be staunchly against the growth and implementation of cryptocurrency. A benefit to this is the growing public pressure on large corporations and crypto miners to lower their environmental footprint. This can result in a host of initiatives and advancements that streamline crypto and make the currency more eco-friendly, efficient, and faster than ever before.