Which cryptocurrency is the most sustainable in 2021?

vincent holland
7 min readMay 15, 2021


Cutting through all the noise is next to impossible!

It’s a minefield out there. We’ve been bombarded with the latest craze of sucking up to Elon Musk for want of being his next pet-crypto, or at least get some exposure off the back of his tweet. You know, the one where he realised that Bitcoin might not be a good fit for Tesla’s image after all!

I recently read an article about the Fifteen Most Sustainable Cryptocurrencies for 2021, which compelled me to do my own research and add some more meat to the bones, even if that meat is still relatively trivial considering all the other aspects of how blockchains and DAGs will, and already are, impacting life as we know it. Industry 4.0.

I am not an expert in this field by any means, I am just a speculator enjoying the ride. There are some seriously smart people out there changing the world for the better. I’m just here to add my own flavour to the mix.

I recommend watching Jeremy Rifkin’s ‘Can a Green New Deal Save Life on Earth’. Jeremy Rifkin makes a good case as to why the NOW is so important. Here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11LJBsTugWo.

I know that I am treading on thin ice with regards to facts & figures. I’m not claiming 100% accuracy as the information available to me was poached from official websites and various articles. Please feel free to reach out and let me know if there are any figures that are off-the-mark.

The following list is based on the article The 15 Most Sustainable Cryptocurrencies for 2021. I’ve listed them from the most efficient to the least. I’ve left Tron at the end as I could not find any information other than it consuming less that 1% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, also I’ve added IOTA as they claim to be the most efficient.

Our benchmark is Bitcoin’s current energy consumption of 707 kWh per transaction ‘Tx’ and Ethereum’s 62.56 kWh per Tx. Research compiled by TRG Datacenters, based in Houston, Texas.


An Open, Feeless Data And Value Transfer Protocol. IOTA has fundamentally re-engineered distributed ledger technology, enabling secure exchange of both value and data, without any fees.

Energy per transaction: 0.0000016 kWh

Source: Overcoming the dual crises of climate change and greenwashing with DigitalMRV by Tom Baumann. https://tombaumann.medium.com

Website: https://www.iota.org

MetaHash . MHC

#MetaHash is a next-generation network based on the Blockchain 4.0 technology for sharing digital assets and a platform for creating and managing decentralized apps and services in real-time.

Energy per transaction: 0.0000027 kWh

Official website: https://metahash.org


Devvio’s advanced blockchain platform offers a global-scale, regulatory compliant framework designed to track, transfer, and maintain the value of assets, records, cryptocurrencies, tokens, payments, identities, and NFTs.

Energy per transaction: 0.0000707 kWh

Official website: https://www.devv.io


Nano is a low-latency, feeless, scalable, and environmentally friendly cryptocurrency that improves on many of Bitcoin’s core properties via unique design decisions without relying on mining, printing or minting.

Energy per transaction: 0.000112 kWh

Source: Bitcoin Is a Useless Currency, Here’s What We Should Use Instead by Nathan Chesworth. https://www.linkedin.com

Official website: https://nano.org

Algorand . ALGO

Algorand builds technology that accelerates the convergence between decentralized and traditional finance by enabling the simple creation of next generation financial products, protocols and exchange of value.

Energy per transaction: 0.0002 kWh

Official website: https://www.algorand.com

Hedera Hashgraph . HBAR

The Hedera hashgraph platform provides a new form of distributed consensus; a way for people who don’t know or trust each other to securely collaborate and transact online without the need for a trusted intermediary.

Energy per transaction: 0.00170 kWh

Source: Can a Blockchain be Green. A look at the sustainability networks-Bitcoin, Ethereum, & Hedera Hashgraph. https://ptvolts.com/sites/default/files/documents/sustainable-blockchain-power-transition.pdf

Official website: https://hedera.com

BitGreen . BITG

BitGreen (BITG) is founded on ‘The Green Protocol,’ which utilizes a highly efficient proof-of-stake consensus algorithm. BitGreen, the organization, aims to shed light on a number of critical issues facing proof-of-work based blockchains and raise public awareness for the environmental and economic problems arising from such issues.

Energy per transaction: 0.006 kWh

Official website: https://bitg.org

Ripple . XRP

Ripple provides one frictionless experience to send money globally using the power of blockchain. By joining Ripple’s growing, global network, financial institutions can process their customers’ payments anywhere in the world instantly, reliably and cost-effectively. Banks and payment providers can use the digital asset XRP to further reduce their costs and access new markets.

Energy per transaction: 0.0079 KWh

Source: by TRG Datacenters, based in Houston. https://trgdatacenters.com

Official website: https://ripple.com

Stellar . XLM

Stellar is an open-source network for currencies and payments. Stellar makes it possible to create, send and trade digital representations of all forms of money — dollars, pesos, bitcoin, pretty much anything. The Stellar network has a native digital currency, the lumen, that’s required in small amounts for initialising accounts and making transactions.

Energy per transaction: 0.0079 kWh

Source: Elon Musk Looking for Green Alternative to Bitcoin for Tesla, Will Chia Coin Be Good Option? by Mercy Tukiya Mutanya. https://www.coinspeaker.com/elon-musk-green-bitcoin-tesla/

Official website: https://www.stellar.org


Decentralized operating system, no transaction fees, Conditional Trustless transactions, Replace traditonal contracts between parties, Build Decentralized applications Trustless transactions between parties, Freedom of payments, Counterfeiting impossible, Fraud resistant, No single point of failure, free to hold

Energy per transaction: 0.0106 kWh

Official website: https://eos.io

SolarCoin . SLR

SolarCoin is an alternative digital currency that works like air-miles for Solar electricity generation. SolarCoin is claimed by individuals living in homes with solar panels on their roof or commercial solar electricity producers. It’s a descendant of LiteCoin ( 18.522 KWh Tx ) and uses the traditional hash-cash proof of work method to reward a community of miners.

Energy per transaction: 0.0707 kWh

Source: The SolarCoin Energy Model shows that the SolarCoin Blockchain uses only 0.01% of the BitCoin Blockchain’s energy to perform an equivalent transaction: blog.bisgrp.com

Official website: https://solarcoin.org

Chia . XCH

Founded by Bram Cohen, the inventor of the BitTorrent network, Chia Network is building a better blockchain and smart transaction platform which is more decentralized, more efficient, and more secure.

Energy per transaction: 0.0707 kWh

Official website: https://www.chia.net

Holochain . HOT

Holochain is an open-source framework for creating peer-to-peer applications that are secure, reliable, and fast. Instead of depending on servers, Holochain applications connect user devices directly to each other in secure networks.

Energy per transaction: 0.1 kWh

Source: Official Team Member, Artbrock ‘I’m targeting to be well under 0.1 KWh per HoloFuel transaction and having it be complete in more like 10 seconds rather than 10 minutes.’ https://forum.holochain.org/t/questions-about-dht-cryptography-and-security/675/103. Although TuRCeuN on Twitter claims that it only consumes 0.0002 kWh.

Official website: https://holochain.org


Burst is an open source blockchain platform with multiple core-level features that has been running publicly since August 2014. It is a code fork of Nxt using Proof of Capacity (PoC) consensus, meaning that you can mine it with your disk space.

Energy per transaction: 0.2 KWh

Official website: https://www.burst-coin.org

Cardano . ADA

Cardano is built on the proof of stake consensus protocol Ouroboros which is considered more energy efficient than those using proof of work.

Energy per transaction: 0.5479 kWh

Source: by TRG Datacenters, based in Houston. https://trgdatacenters.com

Official website: https://cardano.org


Tron is a decentralised content entertainment protocol based on blockchain technology for creating decentralised applications.

Energy per transaction: ?

Source: Tron is the Most Energy Efficient Network for Transactions by Mr Sun. Tron uses less than 1% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption. https://en.ethereumworldnews.com

Official website: https://tron.network

This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.