Blockchain technology is changing the shape of the world in terms of dealing and money exchange. Started from bitcoin, now it is expanding its roots in different fields which include monitoring, data collection, smart contracts governance, and many supply chains. It is a public ledger that consists of data called blocks linked with each other-readable for every user. Because of its visibility and transparency, it is widely welcomed especially in cryptocurrency exchanges all over the world. No special person is controlling the blockchain technology rather all users run it as a whole. Everybody using this platform may not know each other but the transactions made are visible to all users.
Let us throw some light on the history of blockchain technology so we can have a better analysis of its effects on the environment. The basic idea was given by David Chaum in 1982 but not manyyears gave attention to it, then in 1992,StuartHaber and ScottStornetta successfully collected some documents in one block. Then after many years in 2008, a person or a group of peopledesigned it. Making it easy and securable to use with time mentions on the transactions to keep record.The size of the blockchain file kept on increasing day by day. In 2016, big forums adapted blockchain technology. Some said that in 2019,blockchain technology was a game changer for many businesses.
Blockchain technology Affecting Environment:
Now let us discuss the risks and hazards of blockchain technology that eventually are not good for the environment. These risks can be technology, investments, security, finance and others. Because not only the cryptocurrencies, but other fields like banks are also using this technology.
Blockchain protocols are hard to follow. For example, if you want to share the information between two industries that are using blockchain technology, merging them will be hard as it requires a number of integration layers. This will create a non-friendly environment, and the companies would hesitate to consider blockchain technology into megaprojects. As there is a lot of discussion going on to make the web sites and businesses user friendly. Even Google has considered the user experience a factor in ranking the sites.
Scalability has been an issue for blockchain technology for years. When businesses are developed, they need to standardize every framework. Blockchain technology should make proper scales to secure investor rights. The people mining and utilizing their tons of energy should get a confirmed amount known as proof of stake, rather they work based on proof of work. There are no standards of initial coin offerings and other frameworks in the blockchain system. When there is lack of standardization, the user would not get their rights equally.
High Power Consumption:
Blockchain is intense networking. The mining processrequires a lot of energy which comes at cost. The mining devices should have high computing processors and graphics card; they consume a large amount of electricity. Moreover, if minors do not succeed in mining a coin, their efforts go in vain. Power consumption itself is a big issue for the environment as the countries having power production issues cannot afford such type of energy consumptions. Like according to a survey,mining bitcoin utilizes more energy than all people of Argentina, Malaysia and Ukraine.
According to a dissertation help firm, there are appreciable considerations that are taking place to lower energy consumptions. But still, the existing figures prove that they are causing the increase in temperature of the environment by two degrees. There is no doubt, benefits of blockchain technology, but in long term, it is spoiling the atmosphere of the earth rapidly. This is becoming a plus in global warming factors.
As mining cryptocurrencies especially bitcoin is becoming the largest energy consuming, there are some serious issues taking place. The emission of carbon is one of them. Comparing all the data centers which are controlling the World Wide Web and other businesses, it would probably come at the top of the list in energy consumption and carbon emission. Scientists estimated the annual emission of carbon in mining the bitcoin is almost 100 megatons, which matches the emission of whole London city. It not recommended for the betterment of the environment.
Human Rights Risks:
As there is no legislation on cryptocurrencies using blockchain, no government takes responsibility of any accident or hack. Human rights are on their own risks. People have invested their entire savings in this business with no proof of security. Bitcoin or any other virtual currency is not an official currency of any country. Still, people are investing in it with huge risks. Blockchain has provided them a secure path, but it is not inevitable to get attacked. Attackers just have to know the credentials of wallet, and all the money you had earned will be gone.
How Blockchain Can Avoid Environmental Hazards?
This is not an unavoidable problem. Blockchain technology still can help to save the climate. There are many ways by which blockchain technology can reduce consumption and production processes. For example,the use of pos rather than powcan save a lot of energy. Many schemesensure sustainable supply chains but they are very costly. Using blockchain, we can make them cheap and increase the sustainability of the surroundings.
Excluding the consumption issue, there are many ways in which blockchain can help in avoiding environmental hazards. Blockchain can trace the partners and companies involved in a deal, and it can give precise information about the products. It can use to avoid fraud and errors in transactions.
The issues like decentralization can overcome by new laws of governance. Members can selected worldwide to ensure the security of the users. There are experiments taking place to reduce energy consumption. Especially IBM and ENERGY-BLOCKCHAIN labs are doing their best to avoid it. Moreover, measures of trade of carbon are also taking place. So, carbon will considered as an asset of blockchain technology.