Overshoot Day and Cryptocurrency- A Wakeup Call
Today, I was browsing Reddit r/collapse, as I usually do a few times a week. A post and linked article caught my eye. Today is Earth "Overshoot Day". We officially use more resources than the planet Earth replenishes. What does this mean for us and for the use of cryptocurrency, as an energy intensive commodity?
Since 1970, we have put a demand on our planet that exceeds the ability of our system to replenish the resources we use. Since then, we exceed the productive and regenerative ability of our planet by a whopping 56%. As the population of Earth has crested to almost 8-billion people, as urbanization has taken hold and as the world's middle class has grown, demands on the Earth have massively increased. All industries must adapt to this reality eventually, as the world is a closed system.
What does this mean for cryptocurrency? Currently, according to a Cambridge study, Bitcoin itself consumes as much energy as the country of Switzerland, and the total energy consumption of all cryptocurrency is likely much larger than that. What can we do to reduce our consumption footprint on the world as cryptocurrency takes hold?
We have a number of tools to reduce cryptocurrency energy consumption. The methods include the embrace of green energy including solar power, wind and geothermal energy and even tidal energy production. Another method is source reduction utilizing a move from "Proof of Work" to "Proof of Stake". While it is certainly true that the proof of work mining algorithm and mining method is excellent for maintaining competition and integrity of a cryptocurrency, proof of stake is an alternative that can become more robust with more investment into the underlying technology. The solution isn't easy, but the warning of our excessive consumption is. We can rise to the challenge.
The eye-opening realities of the "Resource Overshoot Day" make me think that things need to change. Cryptocurrency was made to defy the centralized power of the big banks, and we need to face the reality that less energy intensive "Proof of Stake" may be the future of cryptocurrency mining and systems.
Originally published in my Publish0x account at the link below:
Also published on Blurt, Steemit, and Uptrend.
Picture from Pixabay.