The devil's in the details - thinking about the environmental impact of your investment choices is not something that may occur immediately to most people.
Cryptocurrencies are often criticised for their negative impact on the environment through excessive electricity consumption and generating copious amounts of electronic waste.
Depending on the mode of consensus used - the way of verifying transactions without a centralised authority, it can greatly affect the environmental impact the cryptocurrencies have.
Here are three cryptocurrencies - Dogecoin (DOGE), Polkadot (DOT) and Big Eyes (BIG), and a closer look at their impact on the environment.
Such energy expenditure - Dogecoin
Dogecoin (DOGE) is a meme coin that skyrocketed in popularity through endorsements of influential figures such as Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg, and Mark Cuban. It was the first meme cryptocurrency and the most popular despite many dog-themed coins baring their fangs at Dogecoin. Nevertheless, Dogecoin is still the top dog of the meme coin world.
Digiconomist, a platform that tracks the energy consumption of various cryptocurrencies, did a study on Dogecoin. Dogecoin operates on the same proof of work model as Bitcoin (BTC), which is highly inefficient and uses an astonishing amount of electricity. The average energy consumed per Dogecoin transaction is the same as "more than 9 fully charged standard Tesla Model 3 batteries." Even more shockingly, Dogecoin's annual carbon footprint is comparable to the entire Bahamas, and its energy consumption is the same as the whole of El Salvador.
Enter Polkadot - creating connections and saving energy
Polkadot (DOT) is a multichain protocol which allows for the interactivity between independent blockchains. This would allow for not only the cross-chain transfer of tokens, data and assets. Essentially, Polkadot acts as the blockchain of blockchains and enables different ecosystems to interact seamlessly.
A Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute (CCRI) report analyzed the carbon footprint and the electricity consumed by six networks running on a proof of stake consensus. Polkadot had the lowest annual electrical consumption out of the six proof-of-stake networks studied.
Kick in the door saving more and more - Big Eyes
Big Eyes (BIG) is a meme coin that is a full-on community token aiming to shift wealth into the DeFi space. Big Eyes has its sights set on becoming one of the most notorious, big, and talked about meme coins in 2022, in a similar vein to Dogecoin's massive popularity.
Big Eyes runs on the Ethereum network. Ethereum 2.0 was successfully launched in September 2022. As a result, the Ethereum network now runs on the more energy-efficient proof of stake protocol, as opposed to the more energy-guzzling proof of work protocol used by Bitcoin and Dogecoin. With this new, more efficient means of operation, the overall energy expended to mine for new coins and to verify blocks is 99% lower than proof of work validation. Also, the electronic waste generated from proof of stake consensuses is much lower than proof of work. With proof of work protocols, the computers need to be continually upgraded to solve the increasingly complex formulae in a fast enough time to validate transactions.
Not only is Big Eyes a meme coin that is much more sustainable than Dogecoin, but it is also focused on directly contributing to helping out the environment. After launch, 5% of all its tokens will be held in a visible charity wallet. The tokens in this wallet will be used to contribute to ocean conservation projects and to protect the marine life that is being threatened and harmed by plastic pollution in the oceans and the oil drilling necessitated by our ever-expanding energy consumption.
Big Eyes and Polkadot are great investment choices if you are concerned with the environmental impact that cryptocurrency has on our planet. Due to their energy-efficient proof-of-stake consensus systems, their effect on the environment is minimal when compared to proof-of-work systems. Whilst Dogecoin still operates on a proof-of-work blockchain, its environmental impact will still be an issue. However, the Dogecoin foundation has confirmed that transitioning to proof of stake is on its long-term roadmap. VitalikButerin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum, has confirmed that he would be assisting in the transition. If Ethereum can successfully transition to a proof-of-stake blockchain, then Dogecoin may be able to follow in its footsteps and reduce its environmental footprint.
Big Eyes Coin (BIG)