As an investment opportunity and as a faster, more secure method of payment, cryptocurrencies have been skyrocketing in popularity over the last decade. However, the astronomic rise of Bitcoin was checked by Elon Musk earlier this year, when the Tesla CEO called out the currency for its environmentally damaging profile.
That has sparked a slew of new cryptocurrencies entering the market, many of which place sustainability and eco-friendliness at the heart of their business strategy. If you’re only just learning crypto for the first time, you might wish to avail yourself of the greenest cryptocurrencies on the market right now. Read on to find out our list.
Riding the crest of Musk’s announcement is Nano, which is explicitly marketed as an eco-friendly cryptocurrency. According to its creators, the currency does not involve any mining, minting or printing in its production, making it as energy efficient as possible. What’s more, all transactions involving Nano can be handled by standard desktop computers, with no fancy hardware (or software) necessary to complete the process. That makes it a much greener alternative to Bitcoin.
The blockchain technology which underpins Algorand depends on a proof-of-stake (PoS) concept rather than the proof-of-work one which powers Bitcoin. This means that there is no need for vast swathes of computing power to be used to work out a complex mathematical problem and verify a transaction, but rather simply the staking of a separate amount of currency to act as collateral. What’s more, Algorand have also teamed up with ClimateTrade to set the ambitious goal of making the currency carbon negative. It doesn’t get much eco-friendlier than that!
In the wake of Musk’s bombshell over Bitcoin, Cardano was name-checked as one of the more sustainable cryptocurrencies he was considering accepting for Tesla payments. That’s largely due to the fact that the currency is staked, not mined, meaning it consumes significantly less power than its rival. By one measure, it could be up to 37,500 times more efficient than the market leader! The currency’s founder has claimed that the entire network which supports Cardano uses a mere 6GWh of power, making it an attractive option for eco-conscious consumers and investors.
If you thought Cardano’s comparative efficiency next to Bitcoin was impressive, wait until you hear Elrond’s claims. According to its founders, the technology behind Elrond is a whopping 6.24 million times more efficient than that supporting Bitcoin. Despite those impressive statistics, it’s still capable of processing an incredible 15,000 transactions per second. That kind of efficiency and processing power mark Elrond out as a currency that’s built for the current climate – but which won’t contribute to climate change.
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One of the newest kids on the block, CHIA was only released earlier this year, making its market entrance in February 2021. It was invented by Bram Cohen, the brains behind the hugely successful torrenting client BitTorrent. Although still in its infancy, CHIA operates on a completely new method of doing things. Instead of relying on PoS or PoW, CHIA instead uses proof-of-space-and-time (PoST), which Cohen claims is both more secure and more decentralised than either of its rivals. While it is still a very young currency, the signs are encouraging thus far.
For newbie crypto investors who prioritise the sustainability of their assets, these five suggestions provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to Bitcoin.