Mitigating the environmental impacts of buying MaidSafe Coin

With the energy costs of a Bitcoin transaction being so monumental, has anyone considered how to reduce or mitigate the environmental impacts and energy costs of buying MaidSafe Coins?

What strategies do we have?

Not using Proof-of-Work is a pretty major one.

Edit - ah you meant buying MAID? Nothing that can be done about that really as you need to buy BTC or ETH first on the exchanges and buy MAID with that. So unless that changes it’s tricky


You could buy cold stored coins ( a paper wallet ) from someone using cash. But then you still rely on BTC to spend it.

edit : and you need to cross fingers the person didn’t keep a copy of the keys !

On network launch, when MAIDs are exchanged 1:1 with Safecoins, will there be an associated bitcoin transaction?

Otherwise I’m not planning on selling spending.

1 Like

very much interested in knowing the answer too.

Would Ripple would be an option? Wonder if there have been CO2 per transaction appraisals made on that? Doesn’t require PoW as far as I’m aware.

That’s assuming I can buy XRP for cash without a bounce via BTC.

Although the process has still to be fleshed out you are likely to be required to send your MAID to a burn address and of course this transaction will be confirmed on the bitcoin blockchain.

Back to your earlier point, one mitigation strategy could be to enable MaidSafeCoin to be purchased directly for fiat. Not only would this be better for the environment, but also would make it easier for newbies to acquire MAID. This is something we would very much like to enable.


Seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding about how mining works. Making another tx does not really cost or use any extra power or cause any environmental damage (contrary to what you’ll read in the mainstream). The vast majority of mining power is used in the hashing lottery to be awarded the next coin reward, it is not in actually processing txs. It also doesn’t cost any more power to do your txs. The amount of power we’re using to secure the network today through PoW is plenty to secure the network even with all the worlds financial systems running on it (if it could scale). You do not cause any additional environmental damage when sending a transaction, you cannot backtrack BTC power usage to a per tx cost, that doesn’t make any sense.

The real killer for power usage is gold anyway, BTC is barely on the chart next to gold, or the power used by banks.

The whole electricity argument is 90% mainstream FUD. Hashing competition will decrease with mining rewards over time and most of the mining happens where power is very cheap and there is a surplus. It enables places like Iceland to monetise spare capacity that they cannot simply export or sell otherwise. The more I’ve thought about it and researched the more I can see a place for PoW in the future, even in the face of much more efficient systems. I don’t think you should feel guilty about using BTC/MAID from an environmental pov personally, it’s much greener than any mainstream alternative, including sending your fiat to buy BTC in the first place.


Interesting, thanks. Seems I’ll have to do a bit more reading/learning on PoW.

There is something that seems inherently wrong with designing mining into the system though.


I know what you mean, but really, to replace trusted third parties it is an ecological bargain and the greenest/safest choice we have for now.

1 Like

But it’s still a bit like swapping out internal combustion engine cars for electric vehicles; slightly less bad, but no substitute for bicycles.

:bike: :100:


Fair analogy. The combustion engine still made life much cleaner than horses in the short term, but yes, going electric with greener sources of electricity or manual with bikes would be much better if they could offer an equivalent replacement.

1 Like

I think the energy consumption is one of the main reasons bitcoin can’t scale. I was watching this video just now (thanks @19eddyjohn75) where precious metals investor Mike Maloney considers bitcoin as an investment, and also looks at Hashgraph, which apparently solves this problem, as well as the issues over speed of transaction which are the other big blocker. Now, I’m not sure where he’s getting his numbers from, but he claims this:

(52 mins): “If bitcoin were to replace the entire world monetary system and financial markets, it would use more power than the entire world produces. It’s completely unsustainable.”

In my view bitcoin is the first gen and it will shortly join BlackBerry and Myspace as groundbreaking innovations that are soon surpassed because of inbuilt flaws.


These power consumption arguments are fundamentally flawed, and therefore meaningless IMO. They make a good meme though, so people readily propagate them.

The reason is that bitcoin / blockchain is not capable of scaling, so any modification in order to allow this has unknown power consumption per transaction, and if you think about it, making something that scalable is very likely going to involve less power per transaction. Cf. SAFEnetwork. :wink:


I find it hard to know if the arguments are flawed or not, as I haven’t been able to find figures that pull in all the externalities that @jabba mentions above (buildings, armoured vehicles etc) and provide a comparative energy user per transaction figure. I also don’t know how much overall power consumption increases as more people use bitcoin (admittedly I haven’t looked very hard for that one). It would be great to know these figures if anyone has them.

But it certainly is an issue that’s tied up with blockchain scalability and one that is to the advantage of SAFE as an alternative - so I definitely agree with you there

1 Like

I definitely trust the BTC devs I’ve heard talking about it above Mike Maloney… although I can’t find any forecasts for scaled costs with a cursory duckduckgogo, in a logical sense the only thing that pushes up electricity usage is competition for coins (hashing, not filling blocks with data that’s shared on just 9000 nodes). If they become worth millions then there will be more competition to mine them, but as fewer of them become available and the price stabilises so will mining competition likely grind to a halt… and efficiency will be constantly improving.

If the mining is also performing market arbitrage for places where there is too much power and no way to move it to where it is needed then the issue is really just about making sure mining happens where the energy is produced in a green way, like Iceland.

1 Like

Lots of factors in play certainly. This one looks like a promising lead - I’ll read it after work.

1 Like