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Climate change and gold

It’s probably fair to say that when you think of the mining industry you probably don’t think of it as being good for the environment. You’d be right to feel that way. Look at the headlines. In February of this year mining giant Rio Tinto saw one of their dams collapse in Brazil and over a hundred people were killed and tons of toxic waste released. Sadly this isn’t the first time such an incident has occurred.

Below are a few examples just in the last decade:

Furthermore, the impact of mining is not limited to traditional mining practices. Since the advent of Bitcoin in 2009, there’s now a new type of digital mining. Bitcoin’s algorithm requires an exponential increase in computing power to operate its network. In a peer-reviewed article published in Nature, the authors estimated that in 2017 Bitcoin mining was responsible for 69 tons of CO2 emissions and that within 22 years Bitcoin alone could be responsible for pushing global warming by an additional 2°C. These are staggering numbers.

Here’s the good news; new technology and using gold as money will greatly reduce CO2 emissions. That may sound like a bold claim so please allow us a moment to break it down. We’ll start with the easy part which is the technology used for distributed ledgers like Bitcoin.

Bitcoin uses a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT) called blockchain. By design, it requires more intensive resources. In a future article, we’ll get more technical about blockchain’s deficiencies but for this article, we can agree that Bitcoin uses a lot of resources by design. There is a second branch of DLT known as directed acyclic graph (DAG) which is an alternative to blockchain. Hash Labs specializes in a very specific type of DAG known as Hashgraph. What are the advantages?

First of all, there is zero mining. Zero. Second, Hashgraph’s speeds are blazing fast. The Bitcoin network can process approximately 4 transactions per second. Our network built on Hashgraph can handle upwards of 500,000. Third, the security of Hashgraph is superior to blockchain networks because a blockchain network relies on the probability of consensus whereas Hashgraph can mathematically prove certainty regarding consensus. The point of this is that blockchain technology is already ten years old and is now out of date. Newer technologies like Hashgraph are completely eliminating the need for digital mining while at the same time delivering users enhanced speeds and security.

Now let’s jump into the slightly more difficult part to explain without a background in economics. Don’t worry we’ll make it simple. So how can gold as money be good for the planet? Let us start with something familiar. It’s probably fair to say that at some point in your life you’ve overeaten too much pasta right? Maybe it was the lasagna at your favorite Italian restaurant or the ravioli that grandma makes from scratch but either way, you’ve done it and probably more than once. Why is it so easy to overeat pasta? The answer researchers have determined is that the white flour typically used in making most kinds of pasta fails to trigger the chemical in our bodies letting us know that we’re satiated. In fact, it does the opposite and overstimulates our eating and puts us in overdrive.

The financial equivalent of pasta is fiat money. Fiat money is printed out of thin air by central banks and over stimulates the consumption of resources. The faster money is printed the more it accelerates the use of natural resources to satisfy consumers supercharged appetites. Take a look at the chart from the Economic Cycle Research Institute below.

The growth in central bank balance sheets is unprecedented. At no other point in world history has the expansion been both so large and so fast. Is it any surprise then that we’re consuming natural resources so fast that we’re even building entire cities with no residents? It has been estimated that since 1970 we have begun consuming more resources on an annual basis than Earth can regenerate in a given year. In 2018 we had over-consumed year’s worth of resources in only 8 months.

The antidote to fiat money is gold. Gold cannot be printed out of thin air. Gold is a natural anchor to keep citizens, and more importantly their governments from consuming beyond their means. We would submit to you that the single largest factor in protecting the environment is moving away from a paper currency system that over stimulates our diet of massive consumption. This is not to suggest that we shouldn’t continue to make technological advances such as Hashgraph, solar power, new methods of recycling, and much more. The bottom line is we need to do both.

Hash Labs and its subsidiary Coro are committed to their leadership roles in ushering in a sustainable financial and environmental future for everyone. We’re a company whose focus goes beyond shareholders to include stakeholders and stakeholders include our communities and our planet. If you have ideas or thoughts on how we can make the world a better place through our technologies please contact us at our Corporate Social Responsibility email address [email protected].

We’d love to hear from you.