Zumo, the Edinburgh-based crypto platform, has successfully completed its Zero Hero pilot project, a live trial to buy Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs, where 1 REC equals 1 MWh of green electricity) to compensate for the electricity usage of bitcoin bought via the Zumo app.
Over the pilot period, bitcoin to the value of £1.5 million has been covered by Zero Hero REC purchases, with a total of 850 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity compensated via the programme – enough energy to drive an electric vehicle for over three million miles.
Testament to the topicality of the issue, end-of-pilot Zumo polling found that 84% of customers feel the issue of environmental sustainability in crypto is an important topic the sector should be working urgently to address, with the same number (84%) also agreeing they are more likely to use a crypto wallet that offers built-in features that play a role in reducing crypto’s environmental impact.
The Zero Hero results are presented in Zumo’s new report – ‘Decarbonising Crypto: Towards Practical Solutions’. This report examines the results of the project and offers practical recommendations for solution providers. It includes best attribution methodology as well as best practices in renewable energy procurement.
According to the report, REC markets need to improve in sophistication and efficiency if they want net zero strategies to be met. Crucially, crypto – as an emerging electricity-focused sector – has a unique opportunity to shake up this marketplace and signal a new wave of demand.
For the next stage of its work, Zumo and its partner, Zero Labs, have been awarded a grant by Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency, to further fund research into the decarbonisation of crypto. Zumo will work with Zero Labs on the RenewableCrypto Project. This project will start later in this month. It will see Zumo working alongside Zero Labs to discover practical ways that wallets, platforms and other technologies can scale up renewable energy. Zero Labs is a technology start-up that enables investors, companies and individuals to decarbonise operations, value chains and daily lives using tokenised renewable energy. This includes converting cancelled RECs into NFTs and delivering on-chain, human-readable green proofs.
Doug Miller, Co-Founder, Zero Labs, said: “Zumo is demonstrating leadership in the Crypto Climate Accord (CCA) community in two ways: leading dialogues about how to estimate the energy use of BTC holdings and procuring clean energy to power Zumo platform customers’ holdings in a verifiable way. Zero Labs is thrilled to support Zumo with scaling a solution across its growing customer base to increase demand for clean energy around the globe and convert the wider crypto industry into a newfound source of demand for clean energy in voluntary markets.”
Kirsteen Harrison is the Environmental and Sustainability Adviser at Zumo.: “The results of our Zero Hero pilot project are hugely encouraging, showing both what is possible and a significant appetite from customers for clean energy solutions. But this is just the beginning, and the story can only continue through the collaboration of all market participants – miners, platforms and end users – within the crypto sector. We hope that our new report will help continue to shift the dial from talk towards action.”
“Along with our partners at Zero Labs, we’re aiming to lead this charge and explore new, digital-led solutions that remove practical barriers to voluntary renewables procurement and verifying green credentials. With electricity being the most significant part of crypto’s carbon footprint, we have a unique opportunity as a sector to rapidly decarbonise.”
RenewableCrypto is a project that will support the Crypto Climate Accord. Zero Labs and Zumo are signatories. The project will demonstrate UK technology-based climate leadership. Its goal: to set a new example not only in the crypto industry but also the wider financial services sector around the direction the sector needs to move – taking climate action and proving it.