In a report titled “ESG Considerations,” Morgan Stanley said increased investor interest means sustainability has become an important consideration for cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency mining can be highly energy-intensive, and Bitcoinmining alone requires the equivalent of one year’s total electricity generation in the Netherlands or 0.5% of total global electricity consumption.
The bank noted that publicly-listed bitcoin mining companies have started to push the SDGs, with many buying carbon credits to offset their impact, or aiming to use cleaner forms of energy. Bitcoin and Ethereum transact in an energy-intensive way known as PoW.
Proof-of-stake (PoS) is a more energy-efficient alternative to PoW that reduces climate impact, the bank said. Morgan Stanley also believes that the risk of government restrictions on energy use for cryptocurrency mining remains, noting that as energy costs have risen, some countries have banned mining while others have restricted mining activities.