Reports
Published: 11 April 2023

Guidelines for Improving Blockchain’s Environmental, Social and Economic Impact

The world’s energy system is in dire crisis, and developing the capacity to deliver net zero over the next decade may be the most important transition that humanity has ever needed to make.

The world’s energy system is in dire crisis, and developing the capacity to deliver net zero over the next decade may be the most important transition that humanity has ever needed to make.

Blockchain technology has the potential to both contribute to the problem of climate change and help address it. On the one hand, the energy consumption of Bitcoin and Ethereum mining has been a significant concern, with the proliferation of large-scale mining operations that consume a substantial amount of energy, some of which is generated from fossil fuels. On the other hand, blockchain is becoming an essential part of developing a carbon-neutral energy grid and has made it economically viable to invest in, develop and build renewable energy power generation.

In order to mitigate the risks while also delivering on these possibilities, however, the energy impact of blockchain itself must be correctly accounted for, ensuring that more environmental harm is not caused by the creation of solutions than is saved by them.

This report is an output of the Crypto Sustainability Coalition’s Working Group on Energy Usage and aims to outline guiding principles and provide toolkits for companies, regulators and start-ups, enabling them to make the most of blockchain’s potential to help reach energy targets.

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