What If Blockchain Didn’t Damage the Environment?

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Blockchain-based platforms often get a bad reputation for their damaging effect on the environment — after all, the maintenance of proof-of-work (PoW) secured blockchains generally requires a huge number of power-hungry mining devices.

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Bitcoin has drawn most of this flack since its mining network consumes as much electricity as a small country, but other aspects of decentralized technologies have also drawn attention for their effect on the environment — including non-fungible tokens and DeFi applications.

But as the issue becomes increasingly recognized, a handful of projects and platforms have taken a step back to address this crucial roadblock by ensuring that blockchain is used as a force for environmental good.

The sector of green blockchain initiatives is growing rapidly, but is currently led by three main platforms:

Popcorn

Decentralized finance has recently gained recognition as one of the more promising use cases of blockchain technology.

Despite arguably being the successor to traditional finance thanks to the way it empowers individuals and businesses to do more with their money, DeFi doesn’t generally benefit the environment.

But Popcorn is poised to change that. The platform represents an evolution in the yield farming space, by allowing users to easily earn an attractive yield on their deposits while simultaneously contributing to the greater good.

The platform is built to offer an intuitive entry route to a range of powerful DeFi products, each of which is designed to provide users with an attractive return on their idle assets. Users will be able to access the Popcorn DApp through any supported Web3 wallet (e.g. MetaMask), after which they simply deposit their funds, choose a strategy and watch the yields roll in.

 

 

But more than this, Popcorn is a beacon for change within the DeFi space. The platform takes a chunk of its profits and directs this to a range of a variety of social impact organizations — including those tackling climate change, promoting renewable energy, and innovating in the recycling sector.

Popcorn is hoping to usher in the ‘DeFi for good’ movement and encourages other platforms to do their part in making the world just that little bit better.

Minima

As we previously touched on, POW-based consensus systems are responsible for a large part of the environmental issues often attributed to blockchain platforms.

But POW isn’t strictly necessary to power a secure and decentralized ledger or smart contract platform. Minima, an ultra-lightweight blockchain and DApp platform demonstrates this by achieving Bitcoin-grade security and Ethereum-level smart contract capabilities with just a tiny fraction of the carbon footprint.

It achieves this through an innovative two-layered blockchain architecture that combines a primary transactional layer with a secondary verification layer to maximize speed and throughput while keeping the energy burden low.

 

 

The platform is designed to be incredibly inclusive and allows practically any device to operate as a full node and help secure the network. As a result, it draws its strength from the vast network of participants that help maintain the network from their mobile devices, personal computers, and other smart devices.

As an incredibly lean blockchain, Minima is rapidly gaining the attention of developers that want to build eco-friendly DApps (known a MiniDapps) that can be accessed from essentially any device.

Qtum

Proof of Stake (POS) has widely been argued to be the successor to Proof of Work — since it provides a more inclusive means to secure a blockchain while dramatically cutting down the energy cost.

Despite this, few platforms have emerged that are able to truly leverage the unique capabilities of POS to produce an open, inclusive, and perhaps most importantly — sustainable — blockchain.

Qtum is arguably the only platform that has produced a successful POS-powered smart contract platform without compromising on decentralization.

The platform is widely acknowledged as a hybrid blockchain of sorts, in that it blends the best parts of Bitcoin (i.e. its ultra-secure UTXO based transaction model) and Ethereum (i.e. its powerful virtual machine) — providing an ideal platform for mass adoption and development.

Being POW-based, Qtum is able to provide a powerful smart contract platform with a far lower energy demand than Ethereum, making it ideally suited for eco-conscious developers. It’s also coming into focus as an attractive place to park funds, thanks to the high yield it offers to QTUM stakers.

According to a recent Twitter post by Qtum founder Patrick Dai, Qtum uses somewhere in the order of 1 millionth (1/1000000th) of Bitcoin’s energy. This makes it a dramatically more sustainable alternative to current systems — completely addressing the energy concerns that come with blockchain networks and DeFi.

 

 

The Qtum Chain Foundation also recently established a VC group tasked with supporting emerging blockchain technologies. Among its many goals, the VC group is placing a major focus on funding green blockchain technologies — helping to grow the industry from the grassroots. Qtum blends the best of Bitcoin with Staking

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