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  • Why environmentalists should embrace bitcoin

    Why environmentalists should embrace bitcoin
    Gabriel Mitchell

    There’s a very wonderful and inspiring trend of contemporary environmentalists embracing entrepreneurship and technology as a means of promoting eco-sustainability. From indie businesses creating eco-friendly products to government promoted apps detailing population in china, “Eco-Entrepreneurs” are promoting their ideas through creative tech friendly means.

    Bitcoin, the latest and greatest advancement in currency and maybe even technology as a whole has been changing the markets understanding of how monetary systems function.

    The following two points are why Environmentalists and Eco-Entrepreneurs should embrace Bitcoin.

    1) Bitcoin enables globalization without the need for mass infrastructure

    Market globalization is an overall positive for the economic well being of the world. When technology and information is readily available by small isolated communities, those communities can become increasingly self sufficient and have mass increases in wealth. It’s estimated than an open border policy could even go as far as doubling world GDP.

    Unfortunately Globalization can have very intense negative impacts on the environment. International financial points such as Banks have an impact of “between 324 and 432 million tonnes of CO2”.

    With Bitcoin the banking system is completely eliminated cutting out the middleman for international transactions. In July 2014 it was estimated Bitcoin mining only produced “424,725 tonnes of CO2/year”, a very significant difference between the banking system.

    There may be some concerns to comparing the small amount of transactions done within the Bitcoin network to the global banking network but Hass McCock puts these concerns to rest,

    “As can be conclusively seen, the relative impact of the bitcoin network does not even register on the radar of the fiat and gold-based monetary systems, representing a very conservative relative environmental impact of just over 0.13%, and a relative economic impact of just under 0.04%. When one considers Koomey’s Law, we can expect energy/GH to continue to half every 18 months until 2048. This means that we can expect our current industry best efficiency of 0.733 W/GH to reach 0.0000000873804 W/GH. Thus – armchair academics take note – in the event that bitcoin scales to a million times its current size and market cap over the next 30 years, it’s environmental impact will still be insignificant compared to existing systems.”

    It’s even estimated that the efficiency of bitcoin mining is on an upward trend so electricity and CO2 emission could decrease as the technology gets more popular.

    Bitcoin can be used to transfer wealth in a global economy without the need for expensive and overwhelmingly non-green banking infrastructure.

    2) Physical Dollars are horrible for the environment

    Besides the overall health dangers of Paper Money and the problem of government having control over the currency, US Dollars have a very painful impact on the Environment.

    In 2010 it was figured that over 1 million gallons a day of water is used in the crafting of the paper to be printed on. Then  250,000 gallons a day of water is used during actual printing of the money.

    In 2007 the European central bank issued a suggestibility statistics report stating, “3 billion banknotes printed in 2003 had an equivalent energy impact of 460,000 60W bulbs switched on for a year, which equates to 240 million kWh, or 0.87 million GJ. With circulation now at 15.8 billion notes, this would scale up to 4.6 million GJ”

    Bitcoin, being completely digitalized could cut out significant energy and water waste seen with physical currency. This digitalization means the technology and e-waste can be recycled unlike paper money which is burnt up by the government after several years of circulation. 

    The balance between sustainability and economics growth can be very difficult but the over all environmental impact of Bitcoin is greatly dwarfed by the dangerous Leviathan that is the Banking System.  In order to encourage economic well being without major harm to the planet Environmentalists should embrace the Bitcoin technology.

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