Leading global e-wallet provider, STICPAY, is calling on world leaders and financial institutions at COP26 to make the shift to cryptocurrencies to reduce the impact of physical, fiat currencies on the planet.
“The energy and natural resources used to produce physical currencies is something that is not talked about or taken seriously enough,” said James Bay, Customer Service Director at STICPAY. “Whether currencies are paper, plastic, or a combination of metals, there is a vast trail of resource intensive production that goes into the physical notes and coins we hold in our wallets.
“Digital payment solutions remove the need for physical currency and so we believe that leaders wanting to make a real difference to our planet at COP26 should start to legislate for a move away from physical currencies.
“I have read much about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies as they use energy for mining. However, I believe this has been completely blown out of proportion and has been amplified by those who reject the notion that cryptocurrencies are the future.
“In fact, Bitcoin uses roughly 120-130TWH of energy per year. This equates to somewhere between 0.58-0.66% of global energy consumption. Although this is a large amount of electricity, already 70% of the mining facilities use renewable energy. The only reason this figure isn’t higher is because around 40% of Bitcoin mining takes place in China, where fossil fuels are still the main source of energy and accurate estimates are difficult to come by.
“At the same time as encouraging China to move to renewable energy sources, we should also ensure that more mining is done in countries that already use renewable energy. By reducing the drain on natural resources required to produce physical currencies and ensuring crypto mining is done using renewable energy, financial institutions and world leaders at COP26 could make a valuable contribution to tackling climate change.”