Today, we are proud to announce our joint effort with Regen Network to lay the groundwork for a sustainable Proof-of-Stake validation ecosystem. As the first step of this partnership, we estimated our carbon footprint and will offset it with support from the Regen Network team. To do this, will instantiate an agreement leveraging a pilot project with the Rainforest Foundation on the Regen Ledger (Regen’s public blockchain network).

Towards Sustainable Cryptonetworks

Our focus on advancing Proof-of-Stake is largely driven by the desire to create a more sustainable, efficient, and scalable way of achieving consensus in a permissionless decentralized network. To illustrate the urgency: empirical analysis shows that the Bitcoin network’s range of yearly carbon emissions currently lies between those of nation-states Bolivia and Portugal (MIT CEEPR 2018).

Proof-of-Work is the perfect example of an economic concept called negative externalities or external costs. A miner’s potential to turn a profit by spending resources on energy creates costs that society has to bear. We are positive that there are more scalable ways of creating secure, sybil-resistant, permissionless networks using cryptography, mechanism design, and cryptoassets as collateral.

The Assumptions of our Estimation

We estimated our carbon footprint taking into account all of our node infrastructure in data centers and supporting infrastructure in the cloud, as well as other factors relating to the operation of our business, e.g. airline miles traveled. Our calculations yielded an estimated 72.69 tons of CO² since Chorus One started operating. Since our estimation is based on multiple assumptions and because we are committed to having a climate positive impact, we will offset an equivalent of 200 tons of CO², about three times as much as our estimation.

Choosing How to Turn our Validator Climate Positive

The Regen Network team is working with a few different ecological projects around the world. We carried out a poll to get our community’s feedback on which one of 3 pre-selected projects we should support to turn our validator operations carbon negative. The Rainforest Foundation and their efforts to save the Amazon rainforest got the most support with 42% of all votes. Learn more about this initiative here.

Future Work

We aim to continue to collaborate with the Regen team, validators and other players in the ecosystem to reduce the impact operating distributed networks has on earth’s climate through estimations and working out how to best perform the offsetting using verifiable contractual agreements on the Regen Ledger.

We hope to inspire others to offset their emissions and plan to work out a proposal to allow the Cosmos validator ecosystem to become climate neutral, potentially utilizing the community fund. If you are a validator interested in offsetting your carbon emissions, please contact me (@FelixLts on Twitter and Telegram) and I will assist you with estimations and the overall process.

Cover photo by Jakub Gorajek on Unsplash.

Carbon Offset Pilot Program Survey:

Chorus One Podcast Green Validator Episode
Chorus One Podcast Regen Network Episode

Regen Network:
Regen Network Community Telegram

Chorus One:
Chorus One Community Telegram