Proof-of-work blockchains like Ethereum carry a heavy burden-- they consume massive amounts of energy in order to guarantee the integrity of the network. Such data has recently attracted a lot of criticism for such networks, which in turn is prompting users to question whether participation in such an ecosystem is worth bearing the associated carbon footprint. However, despite the common narrative that using a blockchain creates irreversible damage to the environment, we can already use these networks to erase the entire footprint of a user’s transactions-- or even every smart contract operation executed by an application.
Building upon the methodology and code written by Kyle McDonald here, I’ve created a simple calculator that will let users and smart contract operators calculate the footprint of an address. You can try it below (or, share it using this link).
On an important final note, it’s important to point out that calculating the footprint of an Ethereum user or smart contract is mostly philosophical. This is because it’s hard to measure any particular participant’s contribution to the footprint of a decentralized network that runs regardless of whether any activity on the network takes place or not. Nonetheless, methodologies like these are huge milestones towards proactive and actionable measures to erase the footprint of blockchain activity.