Ripple has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon operations by the end of this decade; the firm made this announcement following a partnership with Energy Web, Rocky Mountain Institute, and the XRP Ledger foundation. These stakeholders collaboratively designed an open-source tool dubbed ‘EW Zero, ’ set to facilitate the gradual shift to carbon net-zero crypto operations. The development coincides with a recent spike in interest on crypto sustainability when it comes to green energy.
Energy Web is a non-profit organization looking to provide decentralized solutions to reduce carbon use by blockchain and crypto firms. The EW Zero open source app built in collaboration with Ripple marks this decarbonizing ecosystem's first use case. Exciting prospects in the crypto industry can leverage the EW Zero ecosystem to use green energy instead of going all out on carbon products for crypto mining. Energy Web CCO, Jesse Morris, highlighted that,
“Blockchains are a massive energy hog, and a lot of that electricity is not coming from wind, solar, hydro or other sustainable facilities … So we have been thinking for a while now about how we could help the crypto industry decarbonize blockchains, given the distributed nature of the technology.”
For instance, the annual energy used to mine the top 5 Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchains could go as high as 170 TW/h; this is more than what the entire city of New York uses within a similar time frame. Given such energy-intensive operations, the sustainability of crypto ecosystems in line with global climate consciences needs to be checked before it goes out of hand. The head of Social impact at Ripple, Ken Weber, emphasized on the need to be proactive,
“It’s early days for all these currencies, which right now have a tiny share of global finance, but further down the line [green energy adoption] is gonna be much more difficult to reverse engineer.”
With the EW Zero tool, blockchain and crypto stakeholder firms will have access to renewable energy from any local market across the world. This will be done through the deploying Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) based on renewable energy sources, hence the end goal of the decarbonizing crypto activity. On this front, Ripple has already initiated conversations with the Rocky Mountain Institute and Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), which are both clean energy monoliths.
Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, has supported the milestone noting that,
"As digital payments continue to evolve, we need to make long-term systemic shifts as an industry to ensure digital transformation doesn't come at the cost of our planet.”