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Storj Labs Reduces Carbon Footprint and Pledge to Become Greener and POW Free

Energy-efficient design and carbon offset credits for all transactions - in advance of Ethereum's Proof of Stake switch.

Storj Labs, Inc. announced that, in addition to the upcoming move to Ethereum’s Consensus Layer (formerly Ethereum 2.0), it is making a bold move to divest of Proof of Work (PoW) – pledging to become PoW free by the end of 2022.

Already a green alternative to traditional, centralized cloud storage, this move furthers the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

The company, which has its own token, ‘STORJ’, will be one of the first ERC20 tokens to go green. ERC20 is one of the most significant innovations in the Ethereum ecosystem and has emerged as the technical standard used for nearly all smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain for token implementation.

The company is pledging to offset its effective token transaction CO² output plus any other ‘STORJ’ transaction in advance of Ethereum’s Proof of Stake (PoS) switch. While Storj can minimize its use of PoW systems going forward, it does recognize that the historical use of ‘STORJ’ on the existing PoW Ethereum network has had an environmental impact. To offset this programmatically, the company is purchasing carbon offsets representing 23,495 metric tons of carbon.

Storj Eco Blog Transparency

Focusing on ESG and sustainability is at the core of our company, and we are happy to become one of the greenest tokens in the industry, pledging to divest of PoW this year,” said Ben Golub, executive chairman and CEO. “Storj, by design, is more environmentally friendly because our global network of storage nodes uses primarily spare capacity on drives already running in home offices and small data centers, requiring no incremental equipment, power or space. Designed from the outset to be environmentally sustainable, Storj has been able to create the storage capacity of multiple datacenters without knocking down any trees, hammering a single nail, digging a single field, pouring a single bag of concrete, building any new equipment, or buying diesel for a single generator.

Environmental sustainability is one of my personal passions, and a major reason I joined Storj. Our company goal is to be the first of many who follow in our multi-faceted approach: architecting a platform to better utilize existing physical HDD assets, offsetting carbon transactions, and acting now to divest of PoW,” said JT Olio, CTO.

In recent months, there has been increasing attention on the environmental impact of cryptocurrency. In particular, PoW involves solving complex cryptographic mathematical equations using lots of computing power and energy from heavy machinery at large data centers. PoW requires increasingly fast computers, the use of significant energy resources, and processes that eventually slow down transaction times as a cryptocurrency network grows. While PoW based approaches have been critical to the growth of many parts of the broader ecosystem, and while there is considerable debate about the true environmental impact of PoW or whether those costs are outweighed by the societal benefits of the underlying systems, the fact remains that PoW systems require a considerable expenditure of energy. In contrast, Proof of Stake (PoS) was developed as an alternative to PoW in part because of concerns about how much energy PoW uses, its environmental impact, and questions about its scalability. With PoS, miners stake their digital coins for the right to validate new block transactions.

Storj Eco Blog C02

However great the impact of POW, it is dwarfed by the energy profile of cloud storage. Recent predictions in this article state that the energy consumption of data centers is set to account for 3.2% of the total worldwide carbon emissions by 2025 and they could consume no less than a fifth of global electricity. By 2040, storing digital data is set to create 14% of the world’s emissions, around the same proportion as the US does today.

We wanted to create an infrastructure that would be environmentally friendly compared to both cloud storage and local storage itself and create a system that would provide an eco-friendly way for people to participate in the crypto economy,” added Golub. “We are proud of our continued focus on the environment and the impact Storj can have on climate change in a positive way. We hope to set an example for others to follow.

The company is a provider in decentralized cloud object storage. Built for developers, architects, and IT ops professionals, the firm delivers fast, CDN-like performance at cold storage prices, enterprise-grade durability, and better security with no vendor lockin and no single points of failure, while meeting privacy and sustainability demands for traditional use cases, Web3, DAOs, and dApps. Easily integrated into any existing stack with S3 compatibility, the company is architected as a trustless globally distributed network that utilizes existing excess storage capacity; performance, privacy, resiliency are available to any size organization, at ⅕ to 1/20 the price of hyperscalers. It stores multiple petabytes and has petabyte-scale enterprise and Web3 customers like Pocket Network, the Boonji Project , and CIMMYT. The company is an ERC-20 utility token, used as an exchange of value across its network of storage providers.

The Green Case for Storj by Ben Golub, executive chairman and CEO
Upcoming webinar Going Green | Saving More Than Just Files
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