In 2016, bitcoin was irrefutably a person’s area. On the time, solely 1.76% of the bitcoin community consisted of women, whereas male counterparts made up 98.24%. However the occasions they’re a-changin’. In line with a report by CoinMaketCap, the variety of girls within the cryptocurrency business elevated by 43.24% within the first quarter of 2020, and the quantity is actively rising. As extra girls enter the crypto area, the necessity for environmentally acutely aware bitcoin mining practices is rising.
Right here’s why. Bitcoin manufacturing is at present estimated to generate between 22 and 22.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. That’s about the identical quantity of emissions produced by the nations of Jordan and Sri Lanka. And it’s no secret that local weather change impacts women more than men. Eighty p.c of individuals displaced by local weather change are girls. In the identical vein, it simply so occurs that among the areas hit hardest by pure disasters, drought, and displacement are experiencing important development in girls working in crypto.
Take the Center East and North Africa, essentially the most water pressured area on the planet, for instance. Ladies in Iran, reminiscent of crypto dealer and funding advisor, Narges Moradabadi, are sharing their analyses and inspiring extra girls to dive into cryptocurrency. In Lebanon, people are increasingly turning to crypto as a means of gaining financial freedom through crypto-remittances. Amid the nation’s financial turmoil, single moms and girls whose husbands have left Lebanon to seek out work, have begun buying and selling.
Throughout totally different components of Africa, the place individuals are going through excessive ranges of unemployment and poverty, the worldwide peer-to-peer market, Paxful, is seeing a gentle rise within the variety of girls collaborating in its crypto entrepreneurship program, in addition to innovation in blockchain, a shared digital ledger that’s used to document crypto transactions.
In Europe, one in 5 crypto holders are girls. In line with a report published by fintech agency Bitpanda and market analysis firm GlobalWebIndex in 2019, gender distribution amongst European crypto holders is 78% male and 22% feminine. The hole is huge, however on the identical time, feminine crypto traders are 30% extra prone to be within the high 10% of earners — 21% versus 16% of their male counterparts. Curiosity and incentive amongst girls world wide to accumulate and work in crypto is clearly climbing.
A Clear Vitality-Primarily based Crypto Future
The query at giant is, how can industries work collectively to make sure that bitcoin and different crypto manufacturing is much less dangerous on the setting? Crypto entrepreneur, Amy Karr, says evaluating the best way bitcoin is mined is essential.
“[Bitcoin mining creates new incentives for clean energy usage at both a personal and industrial level,” shares Karr. “Right now, we can use clean Bitcoin mining as a catalyst for growing solar use. In the near future, we create more economic power behind the need for a national grid that’s capable of powering an innovative future without damaging the environment.”
Jeff Kirt, CEO of Greenidge Generation, agrees. Based in upstate New York, Greenidge is a vertically integrated bitcoin mining and power generation facility that’s 100% carbon neutral. After transforming an old coal-fired plant to operate entirely on natural gas, which results in reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the company invests heavily in reliable carbon offset credits to ensure it maintains net zero carbon emissions. Additionally, Greenidge is focused on deploying renewables across its operations and investments, while aiming to expand to other states.
So What Exactly Is Bitcoin Mining?
“It’s important to note that what bitcoin miners are doing is processing transactions and adding blocks to the blockchain,” says Kirt. “This includes everyone all over the world that owns bitcoin, such as someone in the US who sends bitcoin to a family member in a developing country. That transaction needs to be recorded in the blockchain. There are approximately 700,000 blocks in the blockchain. A new block is created approximately every 10 minutes, and it’s the bitcoin miners that create those blocks. Now, we’re paid for creating those blocks by getting the transaction fees.”
In May, when Greenidge announced that it’s using a portion of its bitcoin mining profit to do bitcoin mining on a carbon neutral basis at all of its facilities, the company purchased domestic certified carbon offset credits that are certified by one of three agencies or organizations accredited by the California Air Resources Board, recognized by the industry as the gold standard in the carbon offset field.
Kirt is hoping more organizations will set out to scale environmentally friendly bitcoin mining within their own capacity. The Winklevoss twins, founders of the cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini, acquired $4 million in carbon credits as a way to make bitcoin more sustainable.
“The more companies that do carbon neutral bitcoin mining the better,” shares Kirt. “It’s going to be scaled institutional players in the Western world that are going to lead this charge.”
If it’s Western companies that take the lead in environmentally sound bitcoin mining, here’s to hoping the rest of the world follows suit. Cathy Yoon, general counsel at INX Limited, the owner of blockchain-based trading platforms for digital securities and cryptocurrencies, says it’s time for the crypto energy narrative to change, overall.
“I think being carbon neutral and environmentally friendly are important goals and aspirations for more than just women,” opines Yoon. “However, to say that bitcoin mining goes against those ideals is incorrect. We spend energy on the things that matter or have value to us as a society. Consuming energy in and of itself isn’t bad. I think many of us feel the narrative needs to change from focusing on energy consumption to addressing the sources of energy used for the things that matter to us. For those of us in the northeast, we use energy to heat our homes in the winter. A lot of us understand that consuming oil for heat isn’t the best thing, but we don’t say we shouldn’t heat our homes because doing so uses energy. Instead, many are seeking out lower cost energy sources, and in many cases that means renewable energy sources like solar.”
Speaking of solar energy, Greenidge Generation announced today that it will be investing profits from its carbon-neutral bitcoin mining operation to expedite the closure of a 40-year-old coal ash landfill in the Finger Lakes region, and create a new solar farm at the site.
To invest in clean alternatives in any industry is to invest in women and the world. Bitcoin and blockchain may be more pressed for time, due to their extreme carbon emissions and their increasing demand. Suffice to say, if you’re an investor looking at ways to support clean energy and women, consider funding clean energy bitcoin mining.
“For far too long, women worldwide have been held back by economic systems built on dirty industries, and we’re coming into a rapidly approaching reality where women are disproportionately impacted by climate change,” concludes Karr. “Bitcoin puts the opportunity for a new financial and clean energy future back in our hands.”