Home Crypto News RippleX’s Monica Long on Sustainability in Blockchain & Crypto: Interview

RippleX’s Monica Long on Sustainability in Blockchain & Crypto: Interview

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Now that Tesla’s $1.5 billion BTC buy has introduced Bitcoin into the highlight as soon as once more, a slew of headlines about Bitcoin have adopted, lots of which take problem with Bitcoin’s large vitality consumption.

Indeed, many of those headlines level out that the Bitcoin community’s carbon footprint is similar to the vitality consumption of some international locations. Most just lately, BTC’s carbon footprint has been in contrast with that of New Zealand, Switzerland and the Netherlands, amongst others.

Finance Magnates sat down with Monica Long, General Manager of RippleX, to debate sustainability in the blockchain and crypto trade, in addition to Ripple’s initiative to change into Carbon impartial by 2030.

 

This is an excerpt that has been edited for readability and size. To hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with Monica Long, go to us on Soundcloud or Youtube.

What Is RippleX?

Monica defined that “RippleX is a part of Ripple, a company in the crypto and blockchain space that is working to make payments more accessible and open globally.”

How does RippleX match into Ripple’s multi-pronged enterprise mannequin? “What we do at RippleX is enabling and supporting the developer community around XRP and the XRP ledger, which includes everything from building tools and SDKs to support their use cases, as well as developing programs and other support infrastructure for them.”

We requested Monica about Ripple’s current resolution to change into carbon-neutral by 2030. “What brought us to that commitment was really about opening our eyes and understanding the extent of the carbon impact of the crypto space.”

Monica Long, General Manager of RippleX.

A “Paris Agreement” for Crypto?

“When you look at crypto more broadly, the predominant method of transaction confirmation is mining,” Monica mentioned. This is a part of the Proof-of-Work algorithms which are used to run the Bitcoin community in addition to various different in style cryptocurrency networks.

“Mining is really energy-intensive,” Monica defined. “What brought us to making a commitment and leading in this space is the understanding that as cryptocurrency really does become the future of money, this issue of carbon emissions from systems like mining is just going to increase more and more.”

“And so, we wanted to take the lead on the commitment to being carbon neutral,” Monica mentioned, “but also to bring the industry along; we want to partner with others on this, and so we also worked with the Rocky Mountain Institute and the energy web foundation to develop an open-source tool where other blockchains can also commit to decarbonize and take action,” a bit like a “Paris Agreement” for the blockchain area.

The Carbon Footprint of a Single Bitcoin Transaction May Be Higher Than Burning an Entire Tank of Gasoline

Monica mentioned that making a pathway for different firms in the trade to start out talking about sustainability in blockchain is crucial step ahead: “I think that the first step is having a conversation about it,” she mentioned. “It’s good that we’re starting to see a light shine on what the issue is through media attention.”

“2020 was a huge year for crypto generally,” Monica mentioned. “Bitcoin alone grew four times over in its market cap, and with that, mining doubled last year. To put the climate impact of mining in perspective, mining currently consumes about 0.05% of global energy consumption.”

“To bring that down to a ‘per Bitcoin transaction’ level, right now it’s equivalent to burning about 75 gallons of gas [to send one Bitcoin transaction],” Monica defined.

Of course, the precise environmental impression of sending one BTC transaction (or certainly, the Bitcoin community as an entire) is debated: some estimates have proven that the environmental impression of 1 Bitcoin transaction is nearer to 35 gallons of fuel. Still, the actual fact stays that as Bitcoin is an energy-intensive entity, and because it grows, it should change into much more power-hungry.

“What’s awesome is that Bitcoin really reached a ‘watershed’ moment last year with institutional adoption picking up,” Monica mentioned. “We saw companies like Paypal and Square, as well as large corporates like MicroStrategy, and some really large funds getting into Bitcoin, Tesla being the biggest headline, of course, just this year.”

”The First Step Is to Have a Conversation about It: Let’s Recognize That [Sustainability] Is a Problem” for Crypto

“This kind of ‘tipping of the scales’” caused by institutional adoption has been nice for the trade in some ways. However, “that means that there’s a greater stress on the hash rate and the amount of energy needed to mine Bitcoin,” Monica mentioned.

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“So, the first step is to have a conversation about it: let’s recognize that it’s a problem, that we’re all better off if we address it now,” Monica mentioned. “Crypto is a very innovative tech space, so we can solve this problem together. Let’s get ahead of it so that we don’t have to solve it later,” as has been the case in various different industries, together with the automotive trade.

This goes to be more and more essential as regulators throughout the globe are focusing on local weather change prevention. In the United States, the Biden administration has positioned local weather change on the forefront of lots of its coverage initiatives; elsewhere in the world, governments are additionally upping the ante towards the local weather disaster.

Monica defined that as the varied branches of Ripple and XRP proceed to develop, sustainability might play an more and more essential function with regulators: “there’s a new administration in the US, and in other geographies around the world. Climate is rising on the list of what they would like to address through policy.”

“The finance industry and the crypto industry will have to follow policy as well, which I think is definitely going to come into the picture in the next year.”

”We in the Financial Industry Need to Play Our Part to Serve This Broader Global Initiative across the Paris [Climate] Agreement.”

What has Ripple been doing to make its personal operations as an organization and XRP carbon impartial?

Monica defined that the XRP community is already significantly much less energy-intensive than the Bitcoin community: “when you’re looking at different blockchain systems and energy consumption, what it comes down to is what the confirmation method is,” she mentioned.

“XRP Ledger uses its own ‘flavor’ of consensus mechanism, and that process is really energy-light. So, it’s about 120,000 times more energy-efficient than Proof-of-Work (PoW), and even if you look at other types of money (like physical cash), XRP is a ‘greener’ form of currency.”

Additionally, “Ripple as a company has also pledged to be carbon neutral: we’re looking at our company’s carbon footprint from our offices and people and all of our infrastructure, and purchasing carbon offsets and renewables,” Monica mentioned.

Of course, there’s motion being taken inside the conventional monetary world to make conventional finance ‘greener’: for instance, “Visa recently hired a chief sustainability officer, and Rocky Mountain Institute has also brought together major banks to agree to divest in carbon-intense industries, and instead capitalize in green and future-forward industries.”

“So, I think that people are waking up to it. They’re recognizing that we in the financial industry need to play our part to serve this broader global initiative around the Paris [Climate] Agreement.”

“There’s Still a Long Way to Go.”

While sustainability will possible change into more and more essential to the blockchain trade due to regulatory efforts just like the Paris Agreement in the approaching years, Monica mentioned that sustainability doesn’t appear to have been top-of-mind for many crypto trade companies in the previous.

“It felt like we were kind of out there in front of it; we hadn’t really seen others coming out on the issue last year,” Monica mentioned, naming Sello as an exception. Sello Sol describes itself as a blockchain-based platform “for certification and traceability of decentralized and public solar energy.”

However, “the tides are turning,” Monica mentioned. “Elon Musk and Tesla making such a giant, daring assertion in the way forward for crypto as a part of their enterprise, and clearly, a core piece of Tesla’s mission is sustainability, and as a part of that, both Tesla or Musk individually has pledged $100 million to a fund to innovate in this area on greener options. “

Indeed, Space.com just lately reported that “the billionaire SpaceX and Tesla Chief and his Musk Foundation are funding a brand new Carbon Removal X Prize to the tune of $100 million — the richest incentive prize in historical past.”

Therefore, Musk might doubtlessly use his platform to develop initiatives which may make Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies extra energy-efficient.

However, in the meantime, “there’s still a long way to go,” Monica mentioned. “[…] There’s still a lot of folks in the space who aren’t really ‘on-board’ with coming up with solutions for the future. But, I think where we get early traction with other companies, hopefully, we can get pointed in the right direction.”

Of course, sustainability just isn’t the one purpose that Ripple is working on in the close to and intermediate future. Additionally, Monica talked about that RippleWeb is continuous to develop: “we’re continuing to build that network and that offering, launching on-demand liquidity into new corridors, and increasing the size of the network,” she mentioned.

“On the RippleX side, we’re really just getting started, our team was formed late last year, and our mission is to enable and support a developer community around XRP and XRP Ledger,” Monica mentioned. “I think the sustainability piece will attract conscientious developers who care about building for the future and being mindful about the carbon output of the blockchain industry.”

This is an excerpt that has been edited for readability and size. To hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with Monica Long, go to us on Soundcloud or Youtube.

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