Greenchains: Can blockchains save the environment?

Many current blockchains solutions have a large carbon footprint, but next-gen blockchains have fewer carbon emissions—and can help in sustianability tracking

Greenchains: Can blockchains save the environment?

Early blockchains had devastating environmental impacts. But could newer approaches actually help us fix the dirty little secret of IT's carbon footprint?

Part 1: Why popular blockchain technology have large carbon footprints

We take a look at popular blockchain technologies like Ethereum and private blockchains like Hyperledger Fabric’s architecture and distributed nature consume tons of energy and have large carbon footprints.

Part 2: Vendia’s greenchain

Vendia leverages serverless scalability (and scaling to zero) to reduce a private chains carbon footprint. Vendia’s solution also enables organizations to share files, even large files, without eating up tons of energy.

Greenchain images


Private chains – such as Hyperledger Fabric – rely on 1990’s era “scale to peak capacity” approaches that do not support auto-scaling or other dynamic capacity mechanisms. While more efficient than Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work protocol, they suffer from massive under-utilization of data storage mechanisms and their need for heavy, “always on” compute capacity drains power (and produces carbon footprint) 24x7x365 regardless of actual transaction rates.

More modern approaches, such as Vendia’s blockchain, rely on more efficient serverless technologies and sustainable public cloud services. By exploiting these cloud-native technologies, modern blockchains offer tight cost enveloping and a carbon footprint that is actually lower than conventional (“centralized”) IT approaches to sharing data through hosted databases and APIs. Features designed to minimize file redundancy further enhance the ability of IT teams to improve storage efficiency without compromising functionality or security.

Enterprises and companies of all sizes can benefit from both the speed of delivery and the improved cost and carbon footprint outcomes derived from SaaS-delivered blockchain capability using these newer approaches, allowing them to build cost effective cross-cloud data fabric, partner data sharing, and operational data service solutions while simultaneously improving their carbon footprint stance.

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Tim Wagner

Dr. Tim Wagner started the Serverless movement when he created the AWS Lambda business and technology in 2012. His mission then, as now, was to make the creation of enterprise IT solutions easy, fast, and secure. After AWS, Dr. Wagner served as VP of Engineering at Coinbase, where he oversaw the largest mission-critical fleet of distributed ledgers in the US. Dr. Wagner continues to explore business and technology innovations, speaking frequently at conferences

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