Justin Sun, the chief executive of the TRON Foundation, made a splash in the cryptocurrency space earlier this month, when he pledged $1 million to climate environmental activist Greta Thunberg and her mission to help save the world from the effects of climate change.
At the time, Sun took to Twitter following the famously unsuccessful cop25 UN Climate Conference in Madrid and asserted his belief that cryptocurrencies will help in the implementation of a decentralized Internet, which will go on to reduce the global carbon footprint significantly.
Since then, there have been questions about how this could work. The million-dollar donation isn’t a new thing, but several parties have asked just how crypto could have a role to play in combating climate change and reducing the global carbon footprint.
PoS Mining and a Decentralized Internet Infrastructure
Speaking with industry news medium Cointelegraph, Sun explained that decentralized settlements and finance could run by computers and cloud computing systems. Essentially, the mass adoption of decentralized Internet infrastructure can help to reduce the reliance of people on paper documentation.
“Decentralized finance systems are available to everyone in the world! Bank the unbanked. Today, the traditional finance system is limited, expensive, and not cost-effective. Enormous resources and steps are required just to open an account. Imagine having to serve a heavily populated country and all the wastage that ensues,” he added, while making the point that decentralized systems have become more accessible.
Sun also pointed out that Internet documents don’t need to be transported via vehicles and physical means. Since everything is sent over digital networks, travel frequency is reduced, and the toll of the travel industry on the environment is lessened as well.
He also touched on blockchain and cryptocurrency mining. Crypto detractors have argued that mining has had a sustained terrible effect on the environment. Earlier this year, a report from the Technical University of Munich revealed that Bitcoin mining emits over 22 megatons of carbon dioxide annually.
To remedy this, Sun recommended that the industry switch to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) morning system. Ethereum, the largest and most popular blockchain platform, is currently working on switching from the traditional Proof-of-Work (POW) to POS, as the company sees it as a way to bring innovation to staking, reward claiming, and mining the Ether asset.
Is Bitcoin Mining Less Environmentally-Destructive Than We Thought?
There’s been much talk about mining and its contribution to the carbon footprint. While the Munich Technical University has a 22 megaton peg, the New Scientist revealed a different figure.
In a report published last month, Susanne Köhler and Massimo Pizzol of Aalborg University in Denmark explained that the figures on mining-related carbon emissions had been greatly exaggerated. They argued that most of these estimated was based on the assumption that carbon emissions were the same throughout China.
However, an analysis of the Chinese mining landscape by the researchers showed that mining contributes just 17.29 megatons of CO2.
The jury’s still out on the precise impact of mining on the environment, but what everyone seems to agree on is that PoS blockchains could help ameliorate this.