Can cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin promote the ecological transition? At first glance, the answer is no, due to the high energy consumption that is required to “mine” these currencies. Especially when they are manufactured in countries that massively use fossil fuels, as is the case in China for the moment. A principle that is totally opposed to the idea of digital sobriety and that goes against the ecological transition. Reason why, after buying a lot of Bitcoin in early 2021, Elon Musk has just announced that Tesla will no longer use it (until further notice).
However, there are still ethical crypto-currencies that serve to preserve biodiversity or finance the ecological transition.
Overview below with 5 examples of positive impact cryptocurrencies that support the development of renewable energies, the preservation of certain endangered species, the development of agroforestry or better waste management.
Solarcoin, a cryptocurrency for renewable energies
SolarCoin is a cryptocurrency launched in 2014 and whose purpose is to encourage the production of photovoltaic energy. Indeed, an individual or a company equipped with solar panels can ask to be paid this currency at the rate of 1 SolarCoin for 1 megawatt hour produced.
Imagined by the SolarCoin Foundation, this currency is planned to last 40 years and encourage the production of 97,500 TWh. The idea is to “mine” the currency via energy production and let the blockchain control its operation. Holders of this currency can then use it to finance or pay for their energy consumption.
In France SolarCoin is used by Lumo, a crowdfunding platform for green energy projects as well as ekWateur, a 100% renewable energy provider. The SolarCoin Foundation aims to produce 97,500 TWh through the development of photovoltaics.
Rhinocoin, an ethical bitcoin to protect biodiversity
Today, there are fewer than 30,000 rhinos left in the world. The RhinoCoin is intended to finance the protection of this animal, poached and killed for its horn. Indeed, there are rhino farms that are used to repopulate natural parks and that legally obtain horns (when the animal is not killed by poachers, but asleep by veterinarians, the properly cut horns grow back like nails. They are also made of the same material – keratin – as your nails).
Thus, in South Africa, the RhinoCoin Foundation legally buys horns with its cryptocurrency (1 RhinoCoin is worth 1 gram of horn) while taking part of the transaction to reserve it for actions to protect the species. Ethical cryptocurrency exists in different forms: protection of biodiversity or development of renewable energies.
The OceanMiner project, a currency thanks to sea currents
The environment accounts for less than 3% of donations to charities. Yet we have never needed more associations that can study, understand and safeguard nature. This is the case, for example, of the Tara Foundation, which has been travelling the seas and oceans of the globe for 15 years. Their current work focuses on the study and understanding of corals.
And to improve the financing of their work, the Tara Foundation has set up the Ocean Miner project thanks to partners. It is a hydraulic turbine installed in Brittany in Morbihan and which makes it possible to “mine” bitcoins thanks to the strength of marine currents (and the tide). Simple and effective, the device does not bring them much. But it aims to show the way: There are alternatives to finance actions useful for the planet.
Tree-Token, a crypto-fund to invest in agroforestry
Tree-Token is an investment fund that relies on blockchain and cryptocurrencies to invest in agroforestry projects in partnership with farmers’ associations. These agricultural projects then make it possible to generate potential income via products from the harvests (coffee, cocoa, medicinal plants, etc.) that come to reimburse investors with potential gains estimated between 3% and 7%. Dividends are reallocated to token holders based on the performance of this “investment crypto-fund”.
The fund has invested in 2 projects in Peru and Colombia, to the tune of 5 million in each of the two countries for a total of 10 million trees planted in or around agricultural plots. A second call for projects is currently being studied. The JellyCoin, a token to encourage you to sort your waste
JellyCoin is a value that will see the light of day in Argentina. It is in the province of Misiones, in the northeast of the country, that the Ministry of Industry unveiled this cryptocurrency project.
Users who want to benefit from it must register among categories according to their role (“producer”, “collector” or “generator” of waste). The platform then takes care of establishing the link between each category to, ultimately, facilitate the sorting and collection of waste. The JellyCoin earned through this system can then be used to pay in stores or municipal and provincial taxes.
Here are some examples of crypto-currencies that support the ecological transition. Examples that should not prevent us from looking reality in the face: if these cryptocurrencies are mined thanks to fossil fuels, then they go against the fight against global warming. Tomorrow, will crypto be able to be mined using renewable energies? We will have to be attentive to this situation. Because using renewables to create money could also compete with other more priority uses. See also
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