Although Bitcoin was the first to popularize the positive impact that cryptocurrencies can have on industries worldwide, the project’s adverse effect on the environment has become a major issue. Due to this, alternative projects have begun springing up in an attempt to mirror BTC’s success whilst also providing a ‘greener’ option for investors.

This guide discusses the most sustainable cryptocurrency projects of 2022, diving into which cryptos are doing the most for the environment, before presenting some valuable strategies to help investors identify sustainable coins.

The 10 Most Sustainable Cryptocurrency Projects in 2022

Although hundreds of thousands of people worldwide continue to invest in Bitcoin, the project’s ‘Proof-of-Work’ (PoW) consensus protocol means that its energy footprint is enormous. Fortunately, other cryptos have veered away from this approach in an attempt to reduce their energy expenditure.

The 10 sustainable cryptos below all look to revolutionize the crypto market in an eco-friendly way. We’ll explore these cryptos later in the article, diving into their use cases and value potential.

  1. Cardano (ADA)Overall Most Sustainable Cryptocurrency for 2022
  2. Polygon (MATIC)Leading Layer-2 Blockchain with ‘Green Manifesto’
  3. Algorand (ALGO)Widely-Used Carbon Negative Blockchain Network
  4. Chia (XCH) – Most Sustainable Crypto with Unique Consensus Mechanism
  5. Solana (SOL) – Blockchain Network Using 99% Less Energy Than Ethereum
  6. Nano (XNO) – Sustainable Cryptocurrency Alternative to Bitcoin
  7. Hedera (HBAR) – Eco-Friendly Alternative to Blockchain Technology
  8. SolarCoin (SLR) – One of the Best Sustainable Cryptos Incentivizing Solar Power
  9. Stellar (XLM) – Sustainable Crypto Project Looking to Revolutionize the Payments Sector
  10. EOS (EOS) – ‘Feeless’ Blockchain with Sustainable Technology

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

A Closer Look at the Most Sustainable Cryptos to Invest In

Most people decide to buy cryptocurrency for capital gains yet pay no attention to the project’s impact on the environment. As touched on above, Bitcoin is the prime example of this, as miners’ negative impact on the environment has become a pressing issue in the market.

However, the most sustainable crypto projects reviewed below all look to combine appealing investment opportunities with an environmentally-friendly mission. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at these projects:

1. Cardano (ADA) – Blockchain Project Offering Sustainable Energy Crypto

ADA logoOur pick for the most sustainable cryptocurrency this year is Cardano. Cardano is a blockchain project that uses a ‘Proof-of-Stake’ (PoS) protocol to validate transactions. This contrasts with Bitcoin’s ‘Proof-of-Work’ (PoW) protocol.

As noted in an article by NBC, PoS blockchains are far more energy efficient than their PoW counterparts. This is because they use ‘validators’ to verify transactions, rather than mining, which consumes enormous amounts of energy to solve complex mathematical problems.

Cardano blockchain

Ultimately, this makes Cardano an environmentally-sustainable cryptocurrency since each transaction made on the network has a much lower negative impact on the environment. Thus, market participants can become ‘greener’ simply by using a PoS chain like Cardano.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

2. Polygon (MATIC) – Leading Layer-2 Blockchain with ‘Green Manifesto’

MATIC logoPolygon is a sustainable cryptocurrency designed to help the Ethereum network become more scalable. As a ‘Layer-2 blockchain’, Polygon links to Ethereum and helps handle some of the workload. This benefits Ethereum’s users since Polygon can complete up to 65,000 transactions per second (TPS).

Much like Cardano, Polygon uses a PoS consensus protocol to validate transactions – far better for the environment than alternative approaches. Moreover, a Polygon blog post recently revealed the network’s ‘Green Manifesto’ presenting plans to become carbon-negative in 2022.

Polygon eco-friendly

Polygon has also pledged $20 million to various community initiatives aiming to combat climate change’s adverse effects. These include purchasing $400,000 worth of BCT and MCO2 carbon credits to offset emissions. By taking this approach, Polygon looks to become the most sustainable crypto cryptocurrency within the blockchain sector.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

3. Algorand (ALGO) – Widely-Used Carbon Negative Blockchain Network

ALGO logoAlgorand was one of the best emerging cryptocurrencies of 2021, offering a more scalable alternative to Ethereum. This blockchain network was created by MIT professor Silvio Micali, who won the Turing Award in 2012. Using Micali’s knowledge of cryptography, Algorand was developed to be able to handle approximately 1,000 transactions per second.

Algorand aids the environment through its ‘Pure Proof-of-Stake’ consensus protocol. This protocol means that energy expenditure per transaction is reduced over time, whilst TPS continues to increase. What’s more, Algorand has partnered with leading company ClimateTrade to help offset carbon emissions and sponsor climate change projects.

Algorand blockchain

This sustainable energy crypto has also teamed up with entities that look to protect the rainforest and facilitate reforestation. Algorand even offsets carbon usage by directly purchasing carbon credits via smart contracts. Through this process, Algorand’s team has guaranteed that the network will remain carbon negative on a net basis.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

4. Chia (XCH) – Most Sustainable Crypto with Unique Consensus Mechanism

Chia logoAnother of the best sustainable cryptocurrency projects to make waves recently is Chia. Chia is a blockchain network that looks to be sustainable, compliant, and secure. According to Chia’s website, the network uses just 0.16% of Bitcoin’s annual energy consumption and 0.36% of Ethereum’s

Investor’s Chia coin price prediction has been highly optimistic over the past year due to the network’s innovative ‘Proof-of-Space-and-Time’ consensus mechanism. This does away with the need for mining and instead uses free storage space to secure the network. ‘Farmers’ can write ‘plots’ on their HDDs and SDDs, which are then used to create blocks and generate rewards.

Chia sustainable crypto

Since this approach utilizes storage that is currently unused, the Chia network has dramatically less of an impact on the environment. Its sustainable crypto mining strategy has helped it reach a market cap of $900 million, with the network’s native token, XCH, now available to purchase on many of the world’s best crypto exchanges.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

5. Solana (SOL) – Blockchain Network Using 99% Less Energy Than Ethereum

SOL logoSolana is an environmentally sustainable cryptocurrency project offering unrivalled speed and efficiency. This blockchain network has smart contract functionality, providing a platform for dApp developers to host their creations. In turn, this has made Solana one of the go-to networks for DeFi and NFT projects.

Solana was one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency projects in 2021, mainly due to its ‘green’ approach. The network uses a unique ‘Proof-of-History’ algorithm to verify transactions, allowing Solana to handle around 65,000 TPS, each costing a fraction of a penny.

Solana energy use

One Solana transaction equates to an expenditure of just 2,707 joules – approximately 99% lower than an Ethereum transaction. What’s more, the Solana Foundation made the network carbon neutral in 2021 and looks to remain the same in 2022. Finally, Solana even releases semi-regular ‘Climate Footprint Analysis Summaries’ highlighting why it is one of the most sustainable crypto projects.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

6. Nano (XNO) – Sustainable Cryptocurrency Alternative to Bitcoin

NANO logoNano is a peer-to-peer payment system that enables users to send and receive crypto in a quick and decentralized manner. Although this is similar to BTC, Nano differentiates itself using a ‘block-lattice data structure’. This approach reduces energy expenditure by splitting the network into different portions.

Ultimately, this means network participants don’t have to download the entire network, making Nano a greener alternative to Bitcoin. Moreover, Nano uses a protocol similar to PoS yet enables NANO holders to vote on who will validate on-chain transactions.

Nano sustainability

Nano also offers near-instant finality and can handle around 1,000 TPS. Due to its efficiency and energy-saving consensus mechanism, Nano has emerged as one of the best eco-friendly crypto projects for those looking to make quick, low-cost transfers.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

7. Hedera (HBAR) – Eco-Friendly Alternative to Blockchain Technology

HBAR logoMost of the projects noted in this guide are blockchain-based – yet Hedera veers away from this approach. Put simply, Hedera is a distributed ledger that uses a ‘hashgraph’ rather than the blockchain to validate transactions. This approach enables the Hedera network to complete up to 10,000 TPS whilst keeping energy expenditure low.

One of Hedera’s core values is environmental sustainability, which has led to the development team purchasing carbon offsets every quarter. The aim is to become a carbon-negative operation, with Hedera committed to increasing its expenditure on carbon offsets to compensate for the increased energy consumption as the network grows.

Hedera Hashgraph

Due to this, investors have been flocking to buy Hedera Hashgraph as a way to gain exposure to an eco-friendly project. What’s more, Hedera’s team recently launched a $100 million ‘sustainable impact fund’ that will invest in solutions to offset carbon emissions and help nature.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

8. SolarCoin (SLR) – One of the Best Sustainable Cryptos Incentivizing Solar Power

SLR logoAnother sustainable crypto cryptocurrency to be aware of is SolarCoin. SolarCoin has been around since 2014 and aims to incentivize market participants to transition to solar power. The project’s mission is to make solar energy free by distributing SLR rewards to those who complete solar installations.

Ultimately, SolarCoin’s team hopes to help SLR’s value exceed the production cost of solar energy – which is how it will become theoretically ‘free’. At the time of writing, SolarCoin’s team distributes 1 SLR per 1 MWh of verified electricity production, providing a clear financial motive to switch to this energy source.

SolarCoin crypto

However, SLR hasn’t made a name for itself as one of the best utility tokens since it cannot be spent to purchase goods or services anywhere of note. However, SolarCoin remains the go-to crypto related to solar power, ensuring it continues to generate demand from environmentally-conscious market participants.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

9. Stellar (XLM) – Sustainable Crypto Project Looking to Revolutionize the Payments Sector

XLM logoAnother of the most sustainable crypto projects is Stellar. Stellar is a decentralized payments network that aims to improve on ‘traditional’ payments networks. These networks are often slow and costly, whereas Stellar can facilitate decentralized transactions at an extremely low cost.

The overarching aim of Stellar is to allow financial entities and individuals to complete transfers more efficiently than currently offered. It does this through the ‘Stellar Consensus Protocol’, which validates transactions using nodes. Transactions can be processed in just five seconds – exponentially faster than the SWIFT network.

Stellar crypto

Thanks to this Stellar Consensus Protocol, Stellar consumes much less energy than the likes of Bitcoin to validate transactions. Moreover, those looking to become validators on the network don’t need advanced computer hardware to do so. This further reduces energy expenditure and ensures Stellar remains a greener alternative to BTC.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

10. EOS (EOS) – ‘Feeless’ Blockchain with Sustainable Technology

EOS logoRounding off our list of the most sustainable cryptocurrency projects is EOS. EOS is a super-fast blockchain network that looks to altogether remove transaction fees by inflating the price of its native token. Moreover, the EOS network can also handle an impressive 4,000 TPS, with finality of just 0.5 seconds.

EOS is also appealing from a sustainability perspective, as it was the world’s first carbon-neutral blockchain. This means that EOS produces less than 0.01% of the CO2 emissions that Bitcoin does, thanks to its Delegated Proof-of-Stake protocol.

EOS sustainability

In addition, EOS carefully calculates its CO2 emissions from server activity and selects carbon offset projects to reduce its footprint. This has meant that EOS’s team could offset a whopping 281 tonnes of CO2 this year – and hope to repeat the same process next year.

Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

What Makes a Cryptocurrency Sustainable?

Now that we’ve discussed the top sustainable cryptos, let’s focus on the features that make a cryptocurrency project a sustainable investment. Most of the discussion on sustainability revolves around the energy expenditure of blockchain networks – specifically Bitcoin’s.

A report from Cambridge University found that the Bitcoin network consumes around 150 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. This is more than the entire country of Argentina and results in over 60 megatons of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere. As expected, this makes a substantial negative impact on the fight against climate change.

Sustainable cryptos

The main reason Bitcoin consumes so much energy is through the mining process, which involves using advanced pieces of computer hardware to solve mathematical problems. As Bitcoin has become more widely adopted, this has led to a higher number of transactions that need to be validated – thus increasing the required electricity.

So how can cryptocurrency projects veer away from this approach and become more sustainable? Many top trending cryptos attempt to do so by opting for a different consensus algorithm than ‘Proof-of-Work’, which Bitcoin uses. The most common alternative is ‘Proof-of-Stake’ (PoS) – a consensus protocol that removes the need for mining.

By eradicating mining, PoS networks drastically reduce their energy expenditure, leading to less carbon dioxide emissions. What’s more, many of these networks actively focus on aiding the environment by pledging to become carbon neutral or even carbon negative. Some also partner with leading eco-friendly institutions to help with reforestation and other pressing matters.

However, many of the best Web3 coins take a more hands-on approach. EOS is an example of this, as the network actively invests in carbon-offsetting companies to reduce its environmental impact.

Why Sustainable Crypto is Important

As the cryptocurrency market expands, more emphasis is placed on its impact on the environment. This is natural, considering the vast amounts of electricity consumed by blockchain networks and other crypto projects.

But why is sustainable crypto important? Presented below are several reasons that eco-friendly crypto projects could become leaders in their field in the years ahead:

Helps Slow Down Global Warming

The main reason that sustainable crypto mining projects and similar enterprises are essential is that they actively attempt to slow down global warming. For those unaware, global warming refers to the gradual increase in the temperature of the earth’s climate. One of the key contributors to global warming is CO2 emissions – with many crypto projects currently emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide annually.

Global warming stats

However, more people are opting to invest in cryptocurrency projects that offer a ‘greener’ alternative to the first-movers in the space. At the time of writing, the Bitcoin and Ethereum network’s still rely on PoW systems to achieve consensus. As has been shown in this article, these systems are energy intensive.

However, sustainable cryptos reduce energy expenditure while offering the same (if not better) services. Thus, sustainable crypto will likely play a vital role in slowing down global warming in the years ahead.

Provides a ‘Green’ Asset for Investors

Market participants wondering how to invest in blockchain technology now have many projects to consider, as this niche has grown exponentially over the past decade. This growth has also provided a platform for an abundance of ‘green’ projects to emerge, offering viable opportunities for those interested in socially responsible investing.

According to BlackRock, companies that recognize and attempt to solve the world’s challenges are best positioned for long-term growth. This is also the case in the crypto market, as demand for these projects will rise as the climate situation becomes more pressing. Due to this, sustainable cryptos remain essential for investors looking to purchase ‘green’ assets. 

Allows Individuals and Businesses to Work Together

Finally, sustainable cryptocurrencies are also vital in regards to connecting individuals and businesses. Today, the link between ordinary people and giant corporations tends to be strained. Sustainable crypto projects look to solve this by offering platforms that allow these stakeholders to band together for the good of the environment.

How to Find Sustainable Cryptocurrencies

There are now more sustainable crypto projects than ever, driven by society’s need for change. However, newcomers often find it challenging to uncover these projects, as many identifying characteristics may be advanced or too complex to understand.

To help streamline this process, here are several ways investors can find sustainable cryptos:

Look for Blockchains That Don’t Use Proof-of-Work (PoW)

Those wondering how to invest $1,000 (or any amount) in sustainable cryptocurrencies should avoid blockchain networks that use PoW consensus mechanisms. Fortunately, there are now many alternatives to these mechanisms, such as Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-History.

Investors may also wish to avoid blockchains altogether and use alternative networks. Hedera is leading the way in this regard, as its ‘hashgraph’ approach remains decentralized and eco-friendly, even without the use of blockchain technology.

Use Social Media Channels

Social media is a great way to find sustainable cryptos. Many of the best cryptos to buy Reddit are considered ‘green’, as these often have the highest potential over the long term.

Reddit

Moreover, several of the best crypto YouTube channels regularly discuss emerging projects – many of which have core values related to reducing CO2 emissions.

Seek Out Innovative Use Cases

Investors can uncover new and exciting eco-friendly cryptos by seeking out projects with unique use cases. Although PoS blockchains undoubtedly help the environment, they still expend energy, creating a need for carbon-neutral (or carbon-negative) solutions.

The crypto with the most upside often have unique use cases, providing investors with a unique selling point (USP). Not only do many of these cryptos help the environment, but they often have colossal price potential from an investment perspective.

Keep Tabs on Notable Partnerships

New sustainable cryptocurrencies are often too small to make a significant impact on their own, so they tend to seek out partnerships with leading institutions. This also has the added benefit of raising awareness of both the cryptocurrency and its eco-friendly mission.

Polygon Green Manifesto

Another example is Polygon, one of the world’s leading blockchain projects. Polygon has partnered with various community initiatives to make a positive impact and has even pledged $20 million to their causes. 

Most Sustainable Cryptocurrency – Conclusion

In conclusion, this guide has discussed the most sustainable cryptocurrency projects of 2022, exploring how they positively impact the environment and why their value potential is so high.

Those looking to invest in the most sustainable cryptos may wish to partner with eToro. eToro allows investors to purchase cryptocurrency with a flat-fee of 1% (plus the market spread). What’s more, investors can open positions from just $10 – making eToro ideal for newcomers to the crypto market.

eToro logo

Crypto assets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. Your capital is at risk.

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Disclaimer

It is vital to always invest responsibly in awareness of all risks involved. Markets can be extremely volatile, so you should conduct extensive research before investing. Our site provides regular updates and diligently verifies all platforms it recommends, but you should form your own opinion and invest only what you can afford to lose. There is never any guarantee of a return on investment.