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Block-chain: Can It Save the Environment?
Cryptocurrency, backed by blockchain, is arguably the most prevalent modern innovation.  By now I’m sure it’s clear that the biggest benefit of using block-chain technology is its ability to reinforce trust and accountability, when digital information needs to be securely distributed. However, crypto-mining (the process of verifying and adding cryptocurrencies to a blockchain ledger) requires miners to utilize specialized computer graphic cards with large amounts of processing power in order to compete.
The amount of electricity this technology uses is currently a hot topic in the crypto-world due to the potential exponential growth of crypto applications. It is clear that mass amounts of crypto-mining are harmful to the planet, and consequently a large portion of current block-chain applications also have negative effects on the environment. However, several startup companies believe block-chain to be a prime candidate as the technology to save the planet.

One such company, GEAR is looking to use block-chain to address multiple environmental issues in a sustainable manner. They aim to handle global energy demands caused by increasing use of digital currency through the use of green renewable energy to run a crypto-facility. This approach creates a currency, backed by green energy, which can be used to further promote sustainability.

Other innovative companies have sought to use block-chain to incentivize the public to invest in renewable sources (“7 ways the block-chain”, 2017). For example, EverGreenCoin, a type of cryptocurrency, is used for raising funds for green projects that are designed to help benefit the environment, such as recycling and water conservation. ElectricChain is a blockchain platform features apps that incentivize solar installations all across the globe (“7 ways the block-chain”, 2017). It is also important to note that peer to peer energy distribution is possible, thanks to block-chain, but centralized hubs remain as the primary energy producers.
While there are many hurdles left to over-come block-chain is emerging as a feasible approach to creating a more sustainable environment. As lovers of the internet and its varying applications, it is up to us to use and create new technologies in a manner that is responsible to preserve the planet for future generations and innovations.

References
FutureThinkers. (2017, September 11 ). Video Podcast. “7 Ways the Blockchain Can Save the Environment and Stop Climate Change”. Retrieved from https://futurethinkers.org/blockchain-environment-climate-change/

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