As much as Bitcoin captures the imagination of savvy investors, there is a growing awareness of Bitcoin’s hyper-competitive structure that drives copious energy consumption. In 2017, experienced entrepreneur Gilard Green founded BitGreen, a cryptocurrency that rewards social consciousness, positive behaviour, and, in contrast to Bitcoin, is designed to not be an excessive drain on global energy supplies. An eclectic mix of spite, comedy, and social consciousness, BitGreen intentionally invokes the name of Bitcoin in its whitepaper and name to show that BitGreen intends to be more socially and environmentally responsible in how stakeholders interact and how the coin functions. Bitcoin profits are based on an individual’s proof of work, or basically the number of complex calculations that one’s computer (or more often supercomputer) processes with Bitcoin’s software. The result is that a copious amount of energy is consumed to run this software worldwide. BitGreen operates based on Proof of Stake, which is different in that people are not rewarded for the quantity of work the software performs but are rewarded based on participation in the cryptocurrency. This creates a more egalitarian, cooperative atmosphere where participants are more equitable and each person has the same potential to make a baseline amount of profit. However, this is not to say there isn’t a performative aspect to BitGreen: participants have the opportunity to earn additional BitGreens by performing socially and environmentally conscious actions. Such examples in their whitepaper include carpooling to work, participating in an environmental cleanup project, or even simply shopping at a local sustainable coffee shop. BitGreen isn’t exchanged into other currencies but rather is meant as an alternative currency that can be used in lieu of traditional currencies at participating companies. BitGreen is still based on blockchain and inevitably consumes energy in running its program, but in 2019, BitGreen claims that its total energy usage was only 0.6% of Bitcoin’s total usage for that year. It is important to keep in mind that the ultimate success of BitGreen is dependent upon active participation from individual and corporate partnerships who are willing to accept the currency, and it is difficult to know how many partnerships currently exist and how widespread usage of BitGreen is. However, BitGreen is still emerging and growing, only having entered the cryptocurrency world as a legitimate contender in the past couple of years. Like other green cryptocurrencies meant to infuse social and environmental consciousness into the financial zeitgeist, the overall impact will be clearer in time. 


Blockchain, Lifestyle, Psychology, Regulation