The decentralized Ethereum scaling platform has reached its first sustainability milestone by reaching carbon neutrality this week. By investing $400,000 in carbon credits, Polygon is now one step closer to becoming carbon negative. With credits equivalent to 104,794 tons of greenhouse gases, the network has successfully paid off its carbon debt since its inception.

Triggered by this news, MATIC reacted quickly. The altcoin was trading in the green as it registered a double-digit gain on the daily chart. Up more than 24% in one day, MATIC switched hands at $0.5075 at the time of writing.

The green milestone is the result of a number of strategic steps taken by the network. According to the official blog post, the achievement came after Polygon’s “Green Manifesto,” which launched in mid-April. Labeled as ‘a smart contract with Planet Earth’, it is part of the network’s broader vision of sustainable development.

Recognizing that more needs to be done, Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal was quoted as saying:

“Our world is facing an environmental crisis and the blockchain industry needs to do much more than promise to stop adding to the problem.”

Fighting the energy consumption debate

Cryptocurrencies are at the heart of the energy consumption debate. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity IndexBitcoin has consumed more electricity in a year than Sweden, Norway or the United Arab Emirates. However, the energy consumption debate is often challenged by the debate spearheaded by the utility factor.

In a striking position set forth by the World Economic Forum (WEF), energy consumption becomes less a matter of morality than a matter of basic human need. If something is useful, despite its high energy level, it is often accepted because it adds value to society. According to the WEF report published in March this year, data centers (which give us access to popular platforms such as Netflix and Playstation) in the US consume 204 TWh of energy per year, while Bitcoin consumes 62 TWh per year.

At the moment there are an estimated 300 million users of crypto worldwide, and not all of them live in developed countries. A large number of emerging economies such as Kenya, Vietnam, Venezuela and Brazil are adopting digital currencies to evade the costs of outdated financial systems, unstable monetary governance and problems of currency devaluation.

Walking across the green field

The crypto industry is pretty much at the forefront of driving change with a plethora of eco-friendly projects. Polygon is not alone on the carbon neutral path as meaningful action is being taken by many in space.

The open source cryptocurrency Filecoin also has a role in a greener present and future. ‘Filecoin Green’ is an initiative led by the Filecoin Foundation, aimed at making the blockchain CO2-neutral and eventually CO2-negative.

Meanwhile, Algorand celebrated this year’s Earth Day by becoming the world’s first carbon negative blockchain. This was achieved in partnership with ClimateTrade, an organization dedicated to helping companies improve their sustainability profile.

KlimaDAO is another climate-driven organization that has helped Polygon achieve its recent achievement. The decentralized autonomous organization does this by creating a DeFi token backed by real-world carbon offsets.

A leading crypto community-driven initiative is the ‘Crypto Climate Agreement† It is focused on decarbonising cryptocurrencies and has more than 200 companies and individuals in crypto, finance and technology fields.

From Valkyrie to Filecoin and Enjin, the signatories have made a public commitment to achieve net-zero electricity consumption emissions by 2030.

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