Posted on July 29, 2018

A faculty member at Qatar University College of Law (QU-LAWC) published a high impact law and policy article on the disproportionate energy consumption and carbon emissions of bitcoin and other block chain technologies.

LAWC Professor of Law and Centre for Law and Development (CLD) Director Dr. Jon Truby highlighted in his article the high economic and social value of block chain technologies and financial technology, and proposed various solutions to encourage technology developers to switch to low-emissions versions, by amending their consensus protocols or the type of verification machinery required. Titled “Decarbonizing Bitcoin: law and policy choices for reducing the energy consumption of Blockchain technologies and digital currencies”, the article has been published in the internationally peer-reviewed journal Energy Research & Social Science, indexed in SCOPUS with an impact factor of 5.14.

Dr. Jon Truby noted that bitcoin, only one of the thousands of digital currencies, currently consumes enough electricity to power Denmark. He said: “The vast transactional, trust and security advantages of bitcoin are dwarfed by the intentionally resource-intensive design in its transaction verification process which now threatens the climate we depend upon for survival. Society should not be responsible for the environmental damage caused by digital currency trading and other block chain entrepreneurs.” He added: “Without encouraging more sustainable development of the potential applications of block chain technologies which can have significant social and economic benefits, their resource-intensive design combined now pose a serious threat to the global commitment to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Polluting block chain should be discouraged through taxes and other fiscal intervention tools.”

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