The US White House published a report last year highlighting the impact of crypto mining on the climate. Energy consumption has been a topic of debate among regulators and crypto cynics for a long time. Some have completely dismissed cryptocurrencies calling them a threat to the environment. But all is not lost, there exists a green blockchain.

According to the US White House release, the total global electricity usage for crypto-assets is between 120 and 240 billion kilowatt-hours per year. This is equivalent to 0.4% to 0.9% of annual global electricity usage. Crypto mining consumes energy as much as Australia or Argentina consumes in a year.

Energy consumption by cryptocurrencies has remained a concern for the industry despite most of the mining happening in remote locations in the world with renewable energy. Crypto mining is a process that is necessary to verify transactions and add new blocks. The most energy intensive consensus mechanism is Proof of Work, which is used by the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

The industry is racing towards finding a better, cleaner way to mine crypto and reduce carbon footprints. More new projects are striving to achieve 100% Green Blockchain to reduce the environmental impact.

What actually is a Green Blockchain?

A blockchain whose consensus mechanism does not contribute significantly to climate change through greenhouse emissions is called a Green Blockchain. Blockchains that rely on proof-of-stake, which is a less energy consuming mechanism to validate transactions than proof-of-work, are more eco-friendly.

The energy consumption by crypto mining is still a huge problem that persists before regulators. The question of whether cryptocurrencies will become mainstream in the future depends on if the industry can reduce its carbon footprint.

How do you make blockchain green?

Many of the top cryptocurrencies on the market utilize proof of work (PoW) to validate transactions. With the PoW mechanism, powerful computers need to solve complex puzzles to complete verifications, and validators compete to solve the same puzzles.

On the other hand, Proof-of-Stake offers tokens as rewards, but validators are chosen at random. Instead of solving complex puzzles with heavy machines, validators need to put up a small amount of their cryptocurrency as collateral for a chance at getting selected to validate transactions.

What is the Carbon Footprint for Blockchain?

Reducing the amount of energy needed is the most feasible way to make a blockchain green, especially given that it is fixed at the protocol level. That means stakeholders do not have the responsibility at the individual level to manage the carbon footprint. The major challenge to this option is that some inherent security aspects must be foregone.

On the other hand, limiting the energy use for the network to only what comes from specific sources can be challenging. However, it is not a measure that can be included in the protocol.

According to a report from, the entire Bitcoin network emitted around 86.3 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2022. To remove Bitcoin’s annual emissions from the atmosphere, it would require about 431.6 million trees.

Which is the most famous Green Blockchain?

There are many blockchain networks that are eco friendly and do not leave a massive carbon footprint. The proof-of-stake blockchain Algorand is built with environmental focus and made huge strides to achieve a negative carbon footprint.

Algorand also partnered with ClimateTrad enabling them to track their emissions in pursuit of broad sustainability goals. Climate Trade uses blockchain technology to help businesses offset their carbon footprint. Many blockchain platforms buy carbon offsets to compensate for their emission. However, it is still debatable whether this technique has an impact or not.

A carbon offset is a reduction or removal of emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. However, environmentalists do not advocate the idea of buying carbon offsets as a way to reduce carbon emissions. Most corporations use carbon offsets as a shield to keep engaging in their unsustainable behavior.

Offsetting your carbon emission means planting trees and setting up renewable energy sources for poor communities. Though they are important things and produce a positive impact, it does not completely cancel out carbon emissions from other activities. So, if you are seeing a project bragging about being environmentally friendly by purchasing carbon offsets, understand it is just a PR campaign.

Blockchains are transitioning to eco-friendly mechanisms

Last year, one of the largest blockchain networks Ethereum moved from proof-of-work mechanism to proof-of-stake to reduce its carbon emission by 99%. Though bitcoin continues to remain a proof-of-work network. Solana, Tron, Cardano are among the top networks that utilize proof-of-stake mechanisms to keep their mining process carbon neutral. Polkadot and Avalanche are also environmental-friendly blockchain networks.

It’s certain that the future belongs to environmental freindly blockchain networks. Ethereum has already set an example of how important it is to reduce carbon footprints of crypto mining.