This summer, Europe was ablaze. At one point in August, an area one-fifth the size of Belgium was on fire. Temperatures in London, UK, surged past 40°C (104°F) in July – the highest on record.
In July, over 2,000 people died from heat-related causes in Spain and Portugal. French newspaper Le Monde estimated that the number of deaths due to the heat in France was 11,000 this summer. Last month, it was reported that across the EU, July saw 53,000 excess deaths in July alone.
Now, we move toward winter, squarely in the crosshairs of an energy crisis, as the Russian war in Ukraine rages on. I have just arrived in London, where the National Grid chief has warned that blackouts may take place this winter between 4 PM and 7 PM on “really, really cold” days – fears not confined to London alone.
Right now, it is hard to imagine the price of fossil fuels ever falling back to “cheap” levels. But the renewable era feels further than ever – certainly too far to aid Europe, and the rest of the world – this winter. Those blackouts still loom large.
These developments have thrown climate change into the limelight more than ever – something which cryptocurrency is no stranger to. Bitcoin is subject to constant debate about its mammoth energy usage. “Bitcoin consumes more energy than (insert large country)” must be one of the most common headlines.
Meanwhile, Ethereum completed its long-awaited pivot to Proof-of-Stake, reducing the energy consumption of the network by 99.95% – and reportedly the world’s electricity consumption by 0.2%.
I hosted somebody this week on the Invezz podcast who is perhaps best placed of all to discuss the environmental concerns around crypto. That is Alan Ransil, founder of Filecoin Green.
Filecoin Green aims to measure the environmental impacts of Filecoin – one of the world’s largest cryptocurrencies. Launched in 2017, Filecoin is a decentralised storage system which offers a peer-to-peer storage network.
Filecoin Green, meanwhile, measures the environmental impacts of Filecoin and strives to drive them downward.
Alan and I chat about a variety of topics relating to energy and crypto – for Filecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum and the industry at large. One subject I found particularly interesting was around transparency and claims being substantive.
Personally, I get quite frustrated at the constant back-and-forth around energy. Whose claims are verifiable? What is fake news? Whose figures are true? Why are those numbers different from these numbers?
These are the type of debates that Filecoin Green aims to quell. Alan and I also dive into the classic Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake debate, and the environmental concerns – as well as the path for both Bitcoin and Filecoin going forward.
All in all, it felt like a very topical conversation at what is a fragile time for the world. Cryptocurrency and environmental concerns, for better or worse, is a conversation that needs to be had.
As always, feel free to reach out with comments.
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