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Almost every article written about blockchain’s potential environmental impact is one of impending doom. The power needed to ensure that Proof of Work protocols function as they should, for example, is vast and will only continue to grow. Bitcoin, which runs a Proof of Work model, now consumes more energy in mining processes than the entire nation of Switzerland, according to a report from July of this year.

As new blockchain protocols and solutions are developed, energy efficiency is often a key consideration, which is positive. Of course, the last thing a warming planet needs is a breakthrough technology that is as energy-intensive as it is ubiquitous. …


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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology which has revealed its true scope as new applications have emerged. For most people, the smart home is the first thought — it is easy to imagine connected fridges which can reorder groceries once they drop below a certain level, or a thermostat which begins heating the house once you come within a certain distance of it. This is the softer side of the IoT, a development in consumer products which feels less like an explosion than steady progress.

The real IoT boom will be seen elsewhere. Smart cities and industry are the two areas in which the most sweeping change will be seen, as well as the areas in which the most devices will be deployed. According to Statista, the number of connected devices installed worldwide in 2025 will number over 75 billion. Many of these will be, for example, small sensors used in the supply chain to monitor the efficiency of a given process. They require very little energy to power, but the combined weight of their energy requirements will be astronomical. …


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For all that blockchain technology has developed and become more user-friendly, there has been no one product to bring it to the masses. Cryptocurrencies are something people know about and talk about, yet just 8% of people actually interact with it.

It still feels as though, despite the leaps and bounds made by the community, that we are some way from blockchain technology becoming the household name many expect that it will.

This is, predictably enough, where companies like Facebook get involved. Having made it its modus operandi to build products for unparalleled scale, the social media giant’s announcement it has built a blockchain product suggests that it intends to get fully behind distributed ledger technology and be the first household name to push it as part of its service. …

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