A lot has been said about the energy that is wasted to keep cryptocurrencies running. Ripple seems to take such criticism as a marketing opportunity: the leading blockchain company behind XRP plans to decarbonize public blockchains in order to reach carbon net-zero by 2030. To reach that goal, the consortium that includes Energy Web and Rocky Mountain Institute will use the open-source EW Zero tool.
“We, as an industry, need to come together to dramatically reduce our collective environmental impact as broad adoption takes hold”, the statement goes. “This is why, today, Ripple is pledging to achieve carbon net-zero by 2030. We’re also partnering with the XRP Ledger Foundation, Energy Web and Rocky Mountain Institute to decarbonize public blockchains—starting with the XRP Ledger—through the use of the new open-source EW Zero tool. Additionally, Ripple is driving new research with leading universities that evaluates energy consumption across digital assets, credit card networks, and cash.”
How is Ripple going to achieve this? By measuring Ripple’s own carbon footprint and reducing it by purchasing clean, renewable energy for all of our offices and business activities globally, by investing in innovative carbon removal technology, with the goal of removing all remaining emissions by 2030, and by partnering with the University College London (UCL) and the National University of Singapore on research into the environmental impact of crypto adoption.
The statement points to an estimated $26 trillion in savings by 2030 across industries if they were to reduce carbon emissions with sustainable measures: “Examining long-term sustainability of money is one way we can contribute. Most currencies today aren’t environmentally friendly, with the production and movement of money contributing to pollution, deforestation, and a large carbon footprint. By offering an alternative to cash that is more efficient, accessible, and sustainable, blockchain and digital assets are helping drive impact today—and their crucial role in creating a more sustainable future for finance will grow over time.”
Ripple compared the carbon footprint of Bitcoin to XRP’s: “Bitcoin is arguably the most widely known cryptocurrency, but by no means, is it the most sustainable. Current cryptocurrency mining methods consume relatively large amounts of energy. In 2019 alone, Bitcoin transactions consumed almost as much energy as the country of Portugal does on average, each year. In contrast, the digital asset XRP is a staggering 61,000x more energy-efficient than Bitcoin.”
The EWzero tool helps any blockchain to decarbonize through the purchase of renewable energy in local markets in partnership with Energy Web Foundation.