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Edinburgh cyrpto startup decarbonises Bitcoin
The Zumo Team/Supplied
Business & Economy

Edinburgh cyrpto startup decarbonises Bitcoin 

A Scottish crypto wallet and payments platform has launched a pilot renewable energy purchase programme which means customers can now buy Bitcoin powered 100 per cent by clean energy.

For the next three months, users who purchase the digital currency with Edinburgh-based Zumo’s app, will be guaranteed that any electricity consumption linked with its creation is compensated.

The green status of the Bitcoin will be proven via verified renewable energy certificates, which are recorded transparently and permanently on the blockchain.

Despite ongoing progress in the energy mix of Bitcoin mining operations, the network remains the most energy and carbon-intensive digital currency.

Zumo’s ‘Zero Hero’ project is an early step – as part of wider industry decarbonisation efforts – in showcasing proactive platform-side action, giving crypto enthusiasts the chance to make the greener choice for their finances and decarbonise Bitcoin holdings.

Renewable energy certificates will be procured from selected projects in areas of the world that are either heavily fossil-fuel dependent, or which are known locations of Bitcoin mining operations. 

The underpinning technology is provided by Zero, an early-stage blockchain-based technology from Energy Web, one of the three founding organisations of the Crypto Climate Accord.

The green agreement aims to open up access to renewable energy markets worldwide by bringing together renewable energy suppliers and purchasers within an “open, borderless, transparent digital solution”. 

Kirsteen Harrison, Zumo’s environmental and sustainability adviser, said: “We believe crypto and the blockchain will help generations regain control over their financial futures – but we don’t believe that should come at the cost of the planet.

“As our industry matures, we have the unique opportunity to ensure we develop the products and behaviours that will help the future of our Earth. And we’re determined to play our part in setting a positive example and showcasing what industry-wide decarbonisation could look like.  

“Of course, it’s only a part of the puzzle. Miners, platforms, users – we’re all going to have to pull together on this, which is why we continue to work closely with our partners and the wider industry to deliver the transformational change we all know will be required to meet our ambitious net zero targets.”

Doug Miller, global markets lead at Energy Web, added: “It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Zumo to advance the objectives of the Crypto Climate Accord. The Zero Hero project trial offers the crypto industry an exciting showcase of a crypto exchange powering the energy use associated with its bitcoin holdings with renewables and proving its decarbonization on-chain for Zumo users in order to meet growing demands among regulators, investors, and wider public for verifiable environmental credentials.”

The methodology for Zumo’s green initiative builds on a research exercise, completed last month, that investigated the current state of play in decarbonising the crypto industry, gathering input from leading sustainability researchers and cryptocurrency experts.

It now feeds into the newly unveiled ‘Zumo Zero’ net zero strategy, which addresses the wider net zero imperative with a holistic three-pillar approach encompassing not only the company’s carbon footprint, but that of the blockchains it works with and the wider ecosystem as well.

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