Uphold, a multi-currency trading platform, has come out with an alternative to bitcoin which they call as BitcoinZero, as the nett carbon emissions from it are zero.
Yesterday, Elon Musk had shaken up the crypto world with his tweet where he had announced that Tesla would no longer be accepting bitcoin as a payment method, a decision which was diametrically opposite to the decision taken just a few months back where he had announced that bitcoin would be accepted by Tesla.
The reason that he had given was that Bitcoin mining was taking up huge energy resources and that it was bad for the environment. In response to this, Uphold has come up with an alternative to bitcoin which is based on the ERC-20 protocol and which is called as BitcoinZero. This crypto employs carbon credits and the amount of carbon used for mining one BTC is mitigated by the retiring of 10 carbon credits.
Uphold CEO JP Thieriot said: “We have the solution. If you come to Uphold and buy some BTC0 and allow Tesla to take payment in the form of this carbon-neutral, rainforest preserving bitcoin, Uphold will buy 5 new Teslas and give them away to those Uphold users who do the most to get this message out there.”
The usage of carbon credits, they believe, would lessen the criticism around the environmental concerns surrounding the mining of bitcoin. BitcoinZero has been launched by the Universal Protocol Alliance (UPA) which is a coalition of leading blockchain companies like Bittrex Global, Ledger, Uphold etc.
Sceptics of crypto as a whole could view this as a marketing gimmick to promote BitcoinZero as a crypto rather than any real concern about the environment. A study by the University of Cambridge has estimated that Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity than the whole of Argentina. Though efforts have been taken to switch to renewable energy and also bring in methods to reduce the usage of energy for mining, concerns continue to abound.
“Rather than waiting for Bitcoin to draw from more sustainable sources for electricity, we’ve gone out and done something we believe is much better,” said Thieriot. “We’ve put the highest-quality rainforest preservation derived credits there to mitigate emissions completely. BitcoinZero is absolutely the only immediately available solution.”
Bitcoin prices have been rocked by these concerns over the last few days and we will have to wait and see how the crypto community responds to this criticism and what alternatives it can propose to alleviate such concerns.