My aim in writing this article is to convince you that even if you do not care about cryptocurrency, you should care about Nano. Because while you might not be part of the crypto world, crypto is part of our collective world, and the environmental impact Bitcoin has is not something to be ignored. In fact, Bitcoin’s emissions alone might push #GlobalWarming above 2°C, without you ever getting interested in it.
Think I’m exaggerating? Think again — this is a literal quote from a peer-reviewed paper published in Nature (more accessible link here). There are many more papers diving into the environmental cost of Bitcoin.
To put abstract, long-term figures on CO2 emissions and temperature increases into a more relatable perspective — a single Bitcoin transaction equals 3000 miles of electric driving. Flying from London to Amsterdam and back will set you back about half the CO2 emissions of a single transaction. These figures are mind-boggling, all the more so when you realise about 350,000 of these transactions happen daily.
If Bitcoin was adding massive value to people’s lives, there might be some nuance to these figures. If it was allowing people to have a secure digital currency to transact with globally, it might be an argument in its favor. But Bitcoin’s $10+ fees and slow transactions make this unthinkable.
The alternative: Nano
Obviously I am not writing this to present a problem without a solution. I believe that for better or worse, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are here to stay. However, I believe we can be better. Just like transport is something that everyone uses, but we do not need to accept that this means ICE cars, we can accept that crypto is here to stay without accepting that massive, polluting “Bitcoin mining farms” are needed.
I believe that Nano is the electric car in this example, the green to Bitcoin’s black. I will explain why, based primarily on Nano’s extremely low energy usage and carbon footprint, show how this could be a panacea to Bitcoin’s detrimental effect on the world, and I have ideas as to how we can all help here.
Nano’s energy usage
To get the obvious out of the way — Nano is green. Simply put, the Nano network can handle many times the maximum throughput of the Bitcoin network, using the power output of a single wind turbine. 2 seconds of Bitcoin transactions use more energy than 65 million Nano transactions do.
Nano accomplishes this by being extremely lightweight and cooperative. Rather than the competition for blockspace such as in Bitcoin, Nano allows anyone to add blocks to their own blockchain in an asynchronous manner. These blocks are instantly (sub-second) validated by the other nodes in the network. These nodes run on cheap hardware, even a $10 or $20 a month node can validate hundreds of transactions per second.
Nano’s core characteristics
Nano doesn’t only offer green, sub-second transactions. Transactions are also feeless. This is not some temporary subsidy, this is at the very core of the protocol. By having no fees, Nano has no rent-seekers. There is no single group that profits from Nano usage — the network itself is the benefit, to everyone.
Nano was distributed for free through captcha faucets. Because of this, those in poorer countries profited most. Even now, the Nano community constantly sets up faucets in many poorer countries, using their own money, through the WeNano app.
Because of Nano’s green, open, instant, scalable and feeless nature, Nano truly can add value for everyone. People experiencing hyperinflation and corrupt governments have a self-sovereign alternative, merchants have a feeless, safe way to accept payments, and migrants have borderless money.
More importantly for this article— Nano can do many times the transactions Bitcoin can do, using a million times less energy, while empowering the poor through feeless transactions. Nano truly does good in the world, and isn’t tailored to the rich getting richer.
Countering Bitcoin’s emissions through using Nano
At this point, it should be clear why I am writing this article. I think crypto is here to stay, and can truly add value for many people in the world. That being said, Bitcoin is wrecking our world one transaction at a time. It has a measurable impact on the climate crisis, and impacts those in the poorer regions most.
This situation is ridiculous when you consider that we have an alternative in Nano that works better, more cheaply, more scalably, and is a million times better for the world. We can have all the benefits of Bitcoin and more, while negating Bitcoin’s obvious environmental downsides.
What can we do?
It’s simple — #UseNano. By pointing out Nano as an alternative to Bitcoin, you force people to think about the environmental impact they are having by holding and using Bitcoin.
By accepting Nano in your (online) store, you not only save on fees and get yourself some great PR, but contribute to Nano becoming an increasingly viable and known alternative to Bitcoin.
By contributing to the Nano ecosystem in any way, you increase to the odds of Nano overtaking Bitcoin. The more viable Nano becomes as a payment method, the more wellknown Nano becomes, the more people will be confronted with the question of why they would support a polluting cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin when green alternatives exist.
To make sure I’m not talking about some pie in the sky, try Nano out for yourself. I wrote a longer article on it here, but the simple version is that you can try Nano by downloading the Natrium wallet (iOS or Android), going to a Nano Faucet and grabbing some Nano. All free.
Better yet, come engage with us on the Nano subreddit. We welcome all newcomers, all questions, and are always open to suggestions about getting the word out.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I might be naive, but I think that by supporting Nano over Bitcoin we really can make the world a better place, one replaced transaction at a time.