Blockchain’s environmental impact

Blockchain technology has the potential to be transformational for the global financial system. However, blockchain gained a reputation as a potential environmental risk due to broadly-stated headlines about its energy-intensive mining processes. But a deeper analysis of blockchain technologies revealed that blockchain protocols are not the same, and each may have varying levels of environmental impact. Thorough research and analysis is needed to inform the decisions of regulators, users, and the market as various blockchain networks are scaled. This report presents a framework to assess the environmental impact of a subset of blockchain protocols.

The contents of this report:

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) commissioned PwC to develop a framework to evaluate the environmental sustainability of blockchain protocols and apply the Framework to benchmark the environmental footprint of the Stellar network. In addition to a current state impact analysis, this report compares fundamental differences between blockchain networks, considers how blockchain sustainability may evolve in the future, and provides methodologies, which interested parties may use in their own evaluations.

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In this report, you will learn:

  • Blockchain’s impact on sustainability and the race to net zero
  • Challenges of comparing blockchain protocols when it comes to measuring environmental impact
  • Factors affecting future blockchain sustainability
  • How the framework has been applied to the Stellar network
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