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加密貨幣如何解決自身最大的問題之一

加密貨幣如何解決自身最大的問題之一

Aaron Grunfeld, Brennan Spellacy 2021年03月29日
如今,人們已經愈發關注到加密貨幣所消耗的環境成本,而近期比爾·蓋茨的評論則進一步增加了這場討論的熱度。

包括比特幣在內的加密貨幣產業存在能源問題——節能減排、碳中和問題亟待關注。圖片來源:ANDREY RUDAKOV—BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

今年3月初,比爾·蓋茨告訴《紐約時報》(New York Times):“在每筆比特幣交易中消耗的電力,比人類已知的任何其他方式都要多?!比藗円呀浻l關注到加密貨幣所消耗的環境成本,而他的評論進一步增加了這場討論的熱度。加密貨幣技術需要花費大量的能源來“挖礦”和處理——僅比特幣就占了全球電力消耗總量的0.5%。

在蓋茨發表上述言論的兩天后,佳士得拍賣行(Christie's)宣布以近7000萬美元的價格成交了一幅數字藝術作品。這種形式的藝術品通常被稱為非同質化代幣(NFT),僅存在于區塊鏈中,并且在過去兩年中迅速普及。法國一位環保主義者雕塑家震驚地得知,通過這種形式出售他的一個作品所消耗的能源,足夠他的工作室在一般情況下使用兩年。

用什么樣的方式來定義和衡量加密貨幣的碳足跡才是最準確的?在這一點上人們仍然存在一些分歧。但顯而易見的是,加密貨幣的去中心化原則要求每筆交易都記錄在區塊鏈上,并分發給成千上萬的計算機處理,導致每筆交易都要消耗大量能源。并非所有的加密貨幣都像比特幣(Bitcoin)那樣耗能,但是每種都有自己獨特的碳足跡,并且都在不同程度上加劇了氣候危機。

要解決加密貨幣引發的環境問題,我們需要尋找一種方式,使它們能夠與世界和諧共處——這其中的首要任務就應該是緩解氣候變化。

但也已有跡象表明,在加密貨幣行業的推動下,或許我們的環境反而可以越來越好。隨著時間的推移,加密貨幣挖礦能夠加快人們從化石燃料向可再生能源過渡的進程,因為礦工會本能地青睞成本更低的可再生能源,并主動減輕其供能壓力。

如果加密貨幣行業在減排方面也可以居于領先,就能夠將自己“碳排放大戶”的狼藉名聲搖身一變為“具有社會責任感的碳中和行業”?,F在,各公司都可以輕松買到一系列脫碳產品,或通過一些接口將有害的廢氣排到這些脫碳產品中。

去年7月的一項研究發現,79%的消費者購物偏好正在發生變化,他們更關注商家的社會和環保責任?!豆鹕虡I評論》(Harvard Business Review)也在2019年就發現,“可持續產品”正受到熱捧,其市場規模和那些不具可持續性產品的相比,增長了5.6倍。因而如果加密貨幣能夠更有“環保責任感”,該行業就有機會擴大其用戶基礎。

而如果不采取行動,就可能會招致監管機構的禁令。目前,與加密貨幣類似的一些“碳排放大戶”行業都受到了政府強制脫碳法規的約束。荷蘭經濟學家亞歷克斯·德弗里斯是正在對比特幣和其他貨幣的碳足跡進行量化研究的學者之一,他建議,世界各地的政策制定者都可以效仿魁北克等地,禁止新幣開采。而如果不出臺此類規定,要解決碳排放問題,很可能就得仰賴于該行業內部自覺自愿地采取行動。

為了讓加密貨幣行業節能減排,人們已經開始行動,但與此同時,減少碳排放仍然應該成為當務之急。如今,人們能夠采取各種各樣的措施來解決這一問題,從還林還草、植樹造林計劃,到直接的空氣捕獲等一系列封存方法。加密貨幣行業的領導者也應該在這些技術上投資。

目前,人們希望各行各業的領軍者在制定自己的商業計劃時,都可以將氣候變化問題提上日程。加密貨幣行業也不例外,因此,我們希望它不會一再拖延自己做出的“碳中和”承諾。(財富中文網)

阿龍·格林費爾德和布倫南·斯佩拉西是Patch公司的聯合創始人。

編譯:陳聰聰

今年3月初,比爾·蓋茨告訴《紐約時報》(New York Times):“在每筆比特幣交易中消耗的電力,比人類已知的任何其他方式都要多?!比藗円呀浻l關注到加密貨幣所消耗的環境成本,而他的評論進一步增加了這場討論的熱度。加密貨幣技術需要花費大量的能源來“挖礦”和處理——僅比特幣就占了全球電力消耗總量的0.5%。

在蓋茨發表上述言論的兩天后,佳士得拍賣行(Christie's)宣布以近7000萬美元的價格成交了一幅數字藝術作品。這種形式的藝術品通常被稱為非同質化代幣(NFT),僅存在于區塊鏈中,并且在過去兩年中迅速普及。法國一位環保主義者雕塑家震驚地得知,通過這種形式出售他的一個作品所消耗的能源,足夠他的工作室在一般情況下使用兩年。

用什么樣的方式來定義和衡量加密貨幣的碳足跡才是最準確的?在這一點上人們仍然存在一些分歧。但顯而易見的是,加密貨幣的去中心化原則要求每筆交易都記錄在區塊鏈上,并分發給成千上萬的計算機處理,導致每筆交易都要消耗大量能源。并非所有的加密貨幣都像比特幣(Bitcoin)那樣耗能,但是每種都有自己獨特的碳足跡,并且都在不同程度上加劇了氣候危機。

要解決加密貨幣引發的環境問題,我們需要尋找一種方式,使它們能夠與世界和諧共處——這其中的首要任務就應該是緩解氣候變化。

但也已有跡象表明,在加密貨幣行業的推動下,或許我們的環境反而可以越來越好。隨著時間的推移,加密貨幣挖礦能夠加快人們從化石燃料向可再生能源過渡的進程,因為礦工會本能地青睞成本更低的可再生能源,并主動減輕其供能壓力。

如果加密貨幣行業在減排方面也可以居于領先,就能夠將自己“碳排放大戶”的狼藉名聲搖身一變為“具有社會責任感的碳中和行業”?,F在,各公司都可以輕松買到一系列脫碳產品,或通過一些接口將有害的廢氣排到這些脫碳產品中。

去年7月的一項研究發現,79%的消費者購物偏好正在發生變化,他們更關注商家的社會和環保責任?!豆鹕虡I評論》(Harvard Business Review)也在2019年就發現,“可持續產品”正受到熱捧,其市場規模和那些不具可持續性產品的相比,增長了5.6倍。因而如果加密貨幣能夠更有“環保責任感”,該行業就有機會擴大其用戶基礎。

而如果不采取行動,就可能會招致監管機構的禁令。目前,與加密貨幣類似的一些“碳排放大戶”行業都受到了政府強制脫碳法規的約束。荷蘭經濟學家亞歷克斯·德弗里斯是正在對比特幣和其他貨幣的碳足跡進行量化研究的學者之一,他建議,世界各地的政策制定者都可以效仿魁北克等地,禁止新幣開采。而如果不出臺此類規定,要解決碳排放問題,很可能就得仰賴于該行業內部自覺自愿地采取行動。

為了讓加密貨幣行業節能減排,人們已經開始行動,但與此同時,減少碳排放仍然應該成為當務之急。如今,人們能夠采取各種各樣的措施來解決這一問題,從還林還草、植樹造林計劃,到直接的空氣捕獲等一系列封存方法。加密貨幣行業的領導者也應該在這些技術上投資。

目前,人們希望各行各業的領軍者在制定自己的商業計劃時,都可以將氣候變化問題提上日程。加密貨幣行業也不例外,因此,我們希望它不會一再拖延自己做出的“碳中和”承諾。(財富中文網)

阿龍·格林費爾德和布倫南·斯佩拉西是Patch公司的聯合創始人。

編譯:陳聰聰

In early March, Bill Gates told the New York Times, “Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind.” His comments added to a growing conversation around the environmental cost of cryptocurrency, a technology that requires significant energy to mine and process. Bitcoin alone accounts for 0.5% of total global electricity consumption.

Two days after Gates' remarks, Christie's auction house announced the sale of a digital piece of art for nearly $70 million. Often called non-fungible tokens (NFT), such artwork exists only within the blockchain and has rapidly grown in popularity over the past two years. One French sculptor, who is also an environmentalist, was horrified to learn that the sale of one of his projects had consumed as much energy as his studio normally used over the span of two years.

There is some disagreement over the most accurate way to define and measure the carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies. What is clear is that the decentralized nature of crypto requires each transaction to be logged on the blockchain and distributed to and processed by tens of thousands of computers—resulting in significant energy use for every transaction. Not all cryptocurrencies are as energy-consumptive as Bitcoin, but each has its own unique carbon footprint, and they all contribute to the climate crisis to varying degrees.

To answer the crypto environmental problem, we need to look at ways to make crypto fit better into a world whose number one priority should be mitigating climate change. (As a company that helps businesses embed carbon removal into their products, Patch stands to benefit from the advice offered in this article.)

There are already signs that the crypto industry could pivot to be a driver of positive environmental change. Crypto mining can, over time, accelerate a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, as miners will naturally seek out lower-cost renewable energy sources and provide an avenue for renewable projects to offload supply.

If the industry takes the lead in the carbon removal field as well, it can alter its reputation from being an embattled major emitter to a responsible, carbon-neutral space. Businesses can now easily purchase carbon removal from a broad set of projects or use an API to embed negative emissions into their products.

A July study found 79% of consumers are changing their purchasing preferences to align with a company’s social and environmental responsibility. Meanwhile, the Harvard Business Review found in 2019 that products touted as sustainable can grow market size 5.6 times faster than those that are not. By making crypto more environmentally responsible, the industry has an opportunity to grow its user base.

Opting not to take decisive action could also invite categorical bans by regulators. Industries that compare with crypto on the emissions front are currently subject to government regulations mandating decarbonization. Dutch economist Alex De Vries, one of the scholars involved in recent efforts to quantify the carbon footprint of Bitcoin and other currencies, has already suggested that policymakers around the world could follow regions like Quebec, which has enacted a moratorium on new currency mining. Avoiding such regulations will likely hinge on voluntary action to address emissions.

Efforts to make crypto less energy-intensive are already underway, but in the meantime, carbon removal should be an urgent priority. A broad range of initiatives, from reforestation programs to direct air capture and other sequestration methods, are available today. Crypto leaders should invest in these technologies.

Major players in all industries nowadays are expected to incorporate climate change into their business plans. Crypto is no different—so let’s hope there’s no further delay in its commitment to carbon neutrality.

Aaron Grunfeld and Brennan Spellacy are cofounders of Patch.

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