Crypto Greenwashing… Is XRP Really Green?

Claiming that XRP is “greener” than Bitcoin, and therefore somehow “better”, is akin to crypto greenwashing.

Yes, Bitcoin’s energy use, and therefore its carbon footprint, is absurd and unsustainable… No question about that.

But comparing the greenness of XRP/Ripple to Bitcoin is a little like comparing a bottle of Aquafina with a can of Coca-Cola.

They are both drinks, but not the same types of products, and neither is necessarily beneficial for the planet.

Indeed, in terms of the amount of waste sent to landfills, it might be better for the planet if Aquafina or Coca-Cola did not exist… And, in Coke’s case, the nutritional implications of selling brown, sugared water to a largely obese, global population could imply that Coca-Cola may be the opposite of sustainable.

Stating that XRP is greener than Bitcoin commits several of the Sins of Greenwashing.

  1. The Sin of the Hidden Trade-off
  2. The Sin of Vagueness
  3. The Sin of No Proof
  4. The Sin of The Lesser of Two Evils

XRP is less energy intensive than Bitcoin simply because the founders of Ripple decided to produce 100 billion XRP all at once. 

Claiming XRP’s “greenness” is a distraction from the fact that many people believe XRP is centralized, not decentralized, like Bitcoin.

Also, from an investment standpoint, investing in any cryptocurrencies may be extremely dangerous and based on pure speculation…

And no one in their right mind should make a decision to “invest” in a crypto, whether Bitcoin or XRP, based on a green claim.

So, while it may be true that XRP is less energy intensive than Bitcoin, this claim is a distraction from the greater potential risk and uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies as a whole.

If any cryptocurrency wants to be seen as truly green, it should pursue a 3rd party independent environmental certification, such as the Carbon Trust.