Blockchain and sustainability
So I recently changed my web hosting provider. This was a bit of an adventure in itself, but I had been seeing all of these people jumping into cryptocurrencies lately. And therefore wanted to do something to help minimise the environmental impact of my own servers.
For those of you who are unaware, blockchain based technologies devour computing resources (and hence electricity) at a terrifying rate and turn this into stupid amounts of heat. All while the same functionality can be duplicated using existing, and much more efficient tools.
I was quite interested in all of this until I needed to set up a server to run what was essentially a database but using blockchain tech. Watching the requirements for the server grow at an insane rate as compared with using a traditional database for even this minimal amount of testing data, I developed an extreme distaste for this approach. Especially as all the supposed benefits could be achieved without actually needing my own power plant.
This has pushed me into trying to do the little that I can to counteract this trend. Thusly, my web server now runs on the greenest provider I could find and afford. It hasn’t improved my visual design much, but I hope that perhaps this one little move will help the limited number of people who notice this give more consideration to the resources they are using ‘out there in the cloud’.
Oh, and for all those wishing to defend the blockchain idea here, just know that I am living in hope that future carbon taxes will expose the true costs inherent in this approach.