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The growing debate about the sustainability of blockchain technology has gained a new chapter with an initiative from PayPal. The company, in strategic collaboration with Energy Web and DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc., is launching a program that rewards Bitcoin miners who use energy sources clean in its operations.

According to recent estimates, Bitcoin mining is responsible for approximately 85 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.

The mechanism that generates new Bitcoins, called Proof of Work (PoW), requires large amounts of energy for the equipment that mines the cryptocurrency to function. Therefore, Bitcoin mining is regularly criticized by environmentalists due to its high energy consumption.

To address this issue, PayPal proposes the use of crypto-economic incentives in order to promote sustainability, encouraging miners to adopt “greener” practices.

As PayPal highlighted in the announcement, the initiative aims to not only reward miners for operating with sustainable energy, but also increase the likelihood of participating entities routing on-chain transactions to those specific miners.

PayPal gives Bitcoin rewards to promote sustainable mining

PayPal’s approach seeks to encourage miners to adopt low-carbon energy sources in their operations. PayPal partner EnergyWeb has developed a clean energy validation platform that allows miners to obtain low-carbon credentials for their operations.

These “green” miners are associated with specific public keys, called “green keys”, to which rewards can be distributed.

On-chain transactions will be preferentially routed to green miners, transmitted with lower transaction fees and with an additional BTC reward “locked” in a multisig payment address.

This way, sustainable miners will be incentivized to mine these transactions. This is because they will be the only ones eligible for the additional BTC reward.

PayPal hopes this initiative will influence sustainable behaviors by proposing ways to apply fundamental crypto-economic incentives to improve and optimize existing robust networks.

“Sustainability is a significant topic of conversation for nearly every emerging and established industry in the world, and we aim to support crypto’s role in a sustainable future,” PayPal highlighted.

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