University of Waterloo Prof: Ripple’s XRP is More Environment-Friendly Than PoW Based Bitcoin

The recent coronavirus pandemic has brought back attention towards maintaining a cordial relationship with our environment. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the whole world has come to a standstill as roads become empty and factories shut down.

While the pandemic for sure has created a sense of uncertainty, it has also given a pause to mother nature from constant carbon emission and pollution which in turn has resulted in clearer skies and improved conditions for our ozone layer.

While the world will not be the same once we get past these troubled times, its time for some introspection and how we take our environment for granted.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies are going to play a pivotal role in the financial future, and thus sustainability should be a top priority for the decentralized space as well. Ripple, one of the key players in the decentralized space, is at the forefront of this initiative where its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), in association with the University of Waterloo is looking into ways that cryptocurrency can be made more sustainable.

Professor Hasan and Research Associate Crystal Roma along with their team recently published a research paper on the cost of running an XRP Validator node.

The research found that running one for a year would cost around $63, which was a great contrast to the fact that mining a single Bitcoin cost anywhere between $531 to $26,170. Professor Hasan noted that:

“Energy consumption is a big issue for blockchain, and it’s important that we identify better alternatives that can replace Proof-of-work algorithms.”

Bitcoin and the Environmental Woes Associated With PoW Based Mining

Bitcoin is certainly the king of cryptocurrencies, be it in terms of monetary value, its market cap or market dominance.

However, being such a prominent name also bring a lot of criticism along with it and while there have been many controversies associated with the king coin including its scalability and price volatility issue, the most prominent one is the label of being not so environment-friendly primarily because of its mining consensus Proof-of-Work.

The debate around high electricity consumption for mining Bitcoin, and its respective carbon footprint, arose during the last quarter of 2018. It’s estimated that the amount of electricity consumed in the bitcoin mining process is equivalent to the energy footprint equivalent to the size of a country like Austria.

Experts have since debunked the allegations of having a massive carbon footprint, claiming a majority of the power utilized to mine Bitcoins come from clean source energy, however, there is no denying the fact that Bitcoin mining does consume a significantly high portion of electricity without any direct output of that consumption.

While in many cold countries, miners have modified their mining rigs to use it as a modified thermostat, yet the concerns loom large.

Proof-of-Work mining consensus is considered the most secure consensus at present as it requires multiple miners to input their hashpower to mine the next block, making it difficult for hackers to gain control over the network.

On the other hand, Proof-of-Stake the second-most popular mining consensus select a miner on the network based on their on-chain activity and thus instead of hundreds of miners putting in their hashpower, which in turn leads to a lot of wastage of electrical energy, only the selected one mines the block.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Digital Dollar Discussion Is ‘Extremely Important’ Urges Pres. Trump’s Fed Nominee

Digitizing the dollar is a key factor in maintaining its appeal as a global currency, Trump’s nominee to the Federal Reserve, Judy Shelton, says.

In a congressional hearing on Thursday, Fed nominee, Judy Shelton, said the Federal Reserve should be “compelled to think” about a central bank digital currency (CBDC) given the mileage the innovation offers to rival countries such as China. Shelton believes the U.S should rely on fintech innovations to keep themselves abreast in financial matters and retain the dollar as the global reserve currency.

Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), was critical of the benefits the that CBDCs offer saying that having a digital dollar will increase the dominance of the country and maintain the countries power in global influence. Asking Shelton’s opinion on the possible development of a digital dollar. Shelton said,

“The dollar is the most important soft instrument of power that we have across the globe. Yes, it is a dominant reserve currency but we can’t rest on our laurels in that regard.”

The accelerated efforts on development of a digital currency by both Facebook’s Libra project, and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) CBDC is a key point that Ms. Shelton focused on too. She emphasized that the U.S. should not lag behind as it seeks to retain its control as the largest reserve currency in the world. She said,

“Rival nations are working very diligently to have an alternative to the dollar. I think it is very important that we get ahead of the curve to ensure that the dollar continues to offer the best currency in the world.”

With Shelton having shown affinity to blockchain, cryptocurrencies, CBDCs and stablecoins before, her appointment to the Fed board shows light at the end of the tunnel in regulation of cryptocurrencies across the states.

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Author: Lujan Odera