There are many blockchain players to keep an eye on this year, including Algorand. However, there are five, in particular, to really pay attention to. If you do, you’ll notice that sustainability is a common theme across some industry players.
In regards to market cap, this is among the top five overall crypto projects. At the time of writing, it has one of the largest blockchains to actually utilize a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism with success. In fact, the energy usage Cardano goes through is likely just 0.01% compared to Bitcoin.
The market has a lot of appreciation for Cardano deploying social projects and environmentally-conscious operations. One example is the Cardano Forest run by the non-profit Cardano Foundation, as it has planted over a million trees. Cardano hopes to be an overall carbon-negative network.
This Swiss blockchain is both proof-of-stake and eco-friendly. It employs distinct ID layers at a protocol level. This combination of privacy features and compliance makes the ID layer a crucial connection between the virtual blockchain world and the compliance with regulations that traditional businesses have to cater to.
A non-profit foundation supports it. It also has a science team internally researching sharding principles, consensus, and ZK proofs. This blockchain network is a simple one, but it also has cross-chain interoperability.
3. Energy Web Chain SolarCoin
This is a rather novel approach in regard to cryptocurrency. A SolarCoin is created for each Megawatt hour that is generated using solar technology.
The idea behind this blockchain is to reward those who produce solar energy. Solar plant owners have to submit third-party-verified certificates of their energy generation in order to claim their rewards.
Of all the digital currency in the current market, Solana might be growing faster than anyone. In fact, its support for smart contracts might make it a primary competitor to even Ethereum. This network is proof-of-stake. That means that Solana security is not reliant upon using energy. Estimates suggest that a Solana transaction uses less energy than a pair of Google searches. It might even be 20 times less energy than you use charging your phone.
The Solana Foundation is aiming for carbon neutrality in the very near future by partnering with Watershed for refrigerant destruction. This project aims to fund the permanent destruction of HFC and CFC refrigerants. Both greenhouse gases are more than 10,000 times as powerful as CO2. They’re doing this to offset the carbon footprint of the blockchain in the future.
This decentralized protocol using open-source code has an inbuilt exchange to transfer digital currencies to actual fiat money. This can happen domestically or even over international borders. Their cryptocurrency is named the lumen. This blockchain forked off of Ripple and started in 2014 hoping to bridge the gap separating digital currencies and traditional financial institutions. Since this blockchain doesn’t rely on mining, its carbon footprint is lower than others.
Many detractors or opponents of cryptocurrencies usually feature the same arguments, including lack of consumer protections, financial instability, and susceptibility to volatility. The amount of power used and the negative impact on the environment that mining and transactions take are other arguments, but these five players are doing what they can to change that.