Blockchain & Sustainability
Often when many (well-intentioned, forward thinking) people hear the word 'Blockchain', they immediately think of the massive amount of electricity being consumed by Bitcoin and its PoW (Proof of Work) technology. And while Bitcoin is currently a very inefficeint system, consuming a massive amount of electricity (est. 71TWh/year), it is important to understand why blockchain is actually a sustainable solution to many of today's biggest economic and ecological issues. To understand why, it is also important to understand how much energy and resources are being consumed by the industries it is poised to disrupt, and how there are many more efficient blockains in use or being developed. The gold industry (which Bitcoin is poised to dirupt) consumes over 2x the amount of energy and resources than all Bitcoin transactions. That's a staggering 150TWh per year! And that doesn't even take into account the massive ecological devastation from mining earthen materials. The worldwide banking industry data centers alone consume roughly 100TWh of electricity per year! That doesn't even factor the lighting and conditioning of physical banks. And currently there are massive strides being made in scaling Bitcoin, with a slew of alternate coins available, which operate at a much greater efficiency and speed than Bitcoin (notably, Lumens, Decred, Nano, Litecoin, and Burst). There are also several projects focused entirely on sustainable solutions for blockchain and the energy sector: POWR Ledger, WePower, Envion, Regen Network, and SunContract to name a few...
Although Bitcoin might currently use far less energy than it's predecessors, it's still important to understand that one Bitcoin transaction uses the equivalent amount of energy as running an average clothes drier for a week straight (roughly 250KWh). Bitcoin uses a massive amount of energy — but there's a plan to fix that.
So please, for now, go easy on buying coffee with BTC.
Over the millenia, trust has been an essential element in economic and financial systems. And in modern times, we place our trust in third parties to control our money, our personal data, our health & well being, and our freedom. And unfortunately time and again, this trust is broken.
There was one particular trust society had in the worldwide banking system, which was broken in 2008, causing an economic resession, the likes of which hadn't been seen since The Great Depression. And from this breaking of our trust, there is a phoenix rising--a phoenix known as Blockchain/DLT.
Originating with Bitcoin in 2009, the basic premis with blockchain (a.k.a. DLT - distributed ledger technology) is to remove the need for trust and replace it with mathematical certainty and proof. It does this in a way where the information is stored in a decentralized manner (no third party owns or controls the data), which is immutable without at least 51% of the network agreeing to any changes.
No longer must we live in a world where the banks and government have direct control over your personal wealth and finances. No longer must we believe that the people and machines counting voting ballots are trustworthy. No longer must we sit by helplessly and watch our data being sold off to marketers and research centers without ever seeing a dime of that revenue ourselves. Now, because of blockchain, corporations and government are no longer holding the keys to our personal freedom. Now, we can hold those keys ourselves.
This is not just a solution to first world problems. Around the world, there are billions of people are being taken advantage of by a corrupt banking and financial regime, which thrives on a cast system of inequality.
Yet another lesser known purpose of blockchain is to remove high transaction fees associated with cross boarder and CC payments. An international wire transfer costs a minimum of $30, whereas with cryptocurrency, payments can be made around the world for a fraction of a penny. Even Paypal has begun to charge $2.99 for payments to Canada and Europe, and $4.99 to all other countries around the world!
We at Panda Poles have been involved with researching and investing in Blockchain since July, 2017, and as of October, 2017, we have begun accepting 3 different forms of cryptocurrency at website checkout:
Litecoin, Ethereum, and Nano.
(Note: We do not accept Bitcoin, as it is highly inefficient, and not ideal for small purchases)
Litecoin: A predecessor of Bitcoin, LTC came on the scene in 2014, with faster block times and higher transactional capacity. It is vastly more efficient than Bitcoin, with a $100M transaction costing only $.40.
Available for purchase at Coinbase.com
Ethereum & ERC20 Tokens: Ethereum was the first of a slew of projects, known as Utility Tokens. The Ethereum blockchain can be utilized to run Dapps (decentralized applications), or launch a new project (ICO), using the Ethereum network as a crowdfunding tool. It is also a highly effective means of transferring assets across international boarders.
Available for purchase at Coinbase.com
NANO: Of all Cryptocurrency, NANO is one of the fastest, most efficient coins available. It incorporates block-lattice technology to improve speed, efficiency, and security. We highly recommend Nano for making small purchases.