Going Green: The New Eco-Friendly Cryptocurrencies

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Bitcoin’s enormous carbon footprint, but did you also know that new, environmentally friendly cryptocurrencies are making an appearance? It’s true blockchain technology doesn’t have to boil the oceans after all. 

In an era where environmental sustainability takes centre stage, the world of cryptocurrencies is undergoing a remarkable transformation. 

The emergence of eco-friendly cryptocurrencies has sparked a new wave of innovation that combines the power of digital finance with a commitment to the planet. But as we venture into this space, it is crucial to address the environmental concerns surrounding cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Why Bitcoin and Ethereum Are Not Eco-Friendly

The two most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, have faced criticism over their massive energy consumption and carbon footprints

This causes harm to the environment in a few key ways:

  • Energy Usage: Bitcoin and Ethereum rely on a “proof of work” consensus mechanism that requires an immense amount of computing power from specialized machines. The energy needed for these global networks is staggering, comparable to that of medium-sized countries. It is not sustainable.
  • Carbon Emissions: The majority of Bitcoin and Ethereum’s energy usage depends on electricity generated from fossil fuels. This pumps a huge volume of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
  • E-Waste: The specialized, high-powered machines used to mine crypto also produce immense electronic waste, as new models frequently replace older ones. All that e-waste goes straight into landfills.

Proof-of-work coins guzzle up electricity, produce heaps of carbon emissions in the process, and generate piles of electronic waste. With the planet facing a climate emergency, we must shift to more eco-friendly protocols that use minimal energy.

Eco-friendly Cryptocurrencies

New initiatives are continually being launched to enhance the industry’s environmental credentials as worries about the energy levels used in cryptocurrency mining grow. 

These innovative projects use alternative consensus models to validate transactions without the huge computing power required for “proof of work” coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Proof of Stake (PoS)

One popular model is called proof of stake. Instead of mining, PoS protocols select validators to verify transactions based on how many coins they already hold. This slashes electricity consumption by 99% or more. Coins adopting PoS include Cardano, Polkadot, and the upcoming upgrade to Ethereum.

Proof of Coverage (PoC)

Unique alternatives like Helium use a proof-of-coverage model. It incentivizes people to set up wireless hotspots that power an IoT network. The network itself verifies transactions. This reduces power consumption while enabling real-world cases of use.

Proof of Capacity (PoC)

Other models, like Chia’s proof of capacity, rely on spare hard disk space instead of processing power. Users “seed” disk drives to have a chance of being selected to validate transactions and earn rewards. This makes use of latent storage capacity that already exists.

Carbon Offsets

Some networks, like Flow, purchase verifiable carbon offsets to balance out any remaining emissions. This makes them “carbon-neutral” or even “carbon negative,” removing more carbon than they produce.

So, if you want to get into crypto but reduce your carbon footprint, these innovative green cryptocurrencies are the ones to watch. Their designs show that decentralization does not have to mean energy waste and can support sustainability.

The Most Promising Green Cryptocurrencies for 2024

Like most cryptocurrencies, we’ve seen the negative environmental impacts of popular coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum. While smaller currencies might seem to have a lower carbon footprint, this could just be the result of fewer transactions. 

But still, innovative companies are developing eco-friendly cryptocurrencies that aim to be carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative.

The most anticipated green cryptocurrencies for 2024 include:


SolarCoin incentivizes solar electricity generation by rewarding producers of solar energy with coins. Over the lifetime of the network, SolarCoin aims to offset 23,000 tons of carbon emissions.

SolarCoin could see wider adoption as more seek clean energy solutions.


Cardano uses a Proof of Stake consensus-Ouroboros, that uses far less energy than Bitcoin’s Proof of Work. Cardano is thought to be roughly 60,000 times more energy-efficient than Bitcoin. Cardano’s network consumes a mere 0.5479 kilowatts per hour in its entirety.

With robust development and research behind it, Cardano has growth potential. 


Nano utilizes a unique block-lattice architecture that does not require energy-intensive mining. It increases efficiency and lowers energy consumption through the use of an open representative voting protocol.

Transactions on Nano settle in less than one second with no fees. If adopted widely, Nano could demonstrate the possibilities for scalable, clean Cryptos.

Eco-friendly cryptocurrencies present a compelling vision for a more sustainable future. They not only provide opportunities for investors to align their financial interests with their environmental values but also pave the way for a decentralized and secure financial system that is mindful of our planet.

Ultimately, it is important to acknowledge that the journey towards widespread adoption of eco-friendly cryptocurrencies is still in its early stages. While these assets offer promising solutions, challenges and limitations remain. Addressing scalability, network stability, and regulatory frameworks will be crucial to ensuring the continued growth and impact of these sustainable alternatives.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.