Blockchain and crypto are changing major industries around the world. From banking to supply chains, it is revolutionizing various aspects of businesses and industries of all sizes. The crypto market that was worth just $1 billion nearly a decade ago has now exploded into a massive $2 trillion industry, and what originated in the Bitcoin blockchain has evolved into a full-fledged crypto ecosystem with over 18,000 different projects.
Blockchain solutions have emerged to solve real-world problems. And one of the crucial problems they solve is the preservation of natural capital by avoiding gold mining. Gold mining is known as one of the world’s most damaging industries. It displaces populations, contaminates drinking water, harms workers and damages natural habitats.
As a whole, gold mining has had such a negative impact that it now endangers the health of people and ecosystems worldwide.
Devastating Environmental Impacts of Gold Mining
Gold has been the most valuable part of jewelry and a preferred form of exchange for centuries. However, extracting just one ounce of gold from ore can produce about 20 tons of solid waste. Most gold mining methods involve moving huge amounts of dirt and rock, which is detrimental to the area’s biodiversity. The daily activity of a mine can devastate wetlands and waterways.
Likewise, the operation of huge fossil fuel-powered mining equipment results in immense greenhouse gas emissions. Accidents and mine leaks pose an even greater threat to adjacent land and water resources.
In addition, the mercury used in artisanal and small-scale gold mining operations can unfortunately become airborne and pollute the air and water nearby. Even using sodium cyanide to extract gold from ore without being trapped enough can damage air and water.
Acid mine runoff has also been a problem with the rise of gold mining. Due to chemical reactions between sulfides and surface elements, sulfuric acid is released into the environment. And this chemical reaction can go into a feedback loop and go on for hundreds of years. Other metals such as cadmium, arsenic, lead and iron have polluted rivers and streams and destroyed lives.
However, viable alternatives are emerging, and blockchain technology is making that possible.
Going Green with Blockchain Solutions
Blockchain technology and its features such as cryptocurrencies and tokenization of real-world assets can address the long-standing gold mining problem. It achieves this by enabling the tokenization of gold conservation and allowing users to invest in preserving real gold in the ground. Thus, the benefits of gold can be reaped without actually mining more gold.
While this concept sounds too good to be true, one project can make it possible. Nature’s Vault uses blockchain technology to symbolize the conservation of gold. It unlocks the value of mineral assets located in the ground without the negative environmental impact of mining. With its $LEGACY token, which is linked to tokenized NaturesGold, people can invest in the preservation of gold.
In fact, it is one of the first projects to introduce a new concept known as Preserve-to-Earn. The platform allows users to wager and earn with $LEGACY tokens, with each token backed by at least 0.01 gram of NaturesGoldTM. Best of all, real gold is measurably kept underground while investors continue to profit from $LEGACY tokens. And Nature’s Vault commits to acquire rights to and retain significantly more unmined gold from the proceeds of $LEGACY Token sales.
Have a positive impact on the environment
Natural Capital is declining year after year and the environmental impact of mining contributes to this. The devastation of the Amazon rainforest – a biologically rich environment that fights global warming – is increasing due to a boom in gold mining. And it is high time that governments and citizens took action by preserving nature reserves.
However, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel now that blockchain has emerged. It has the potential for a huge positive impact on the environment. Plus, with projects like Nature’s Vault introducing sustainable alternatives to gold mining, things are sure to change. Indeed, the future lies in people who care about the planet and adopt a new way of investing in metals and other natural resources.