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Crypto — the road to respectability demands sustainability

Shopify, one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world, has introduced payments using USDC (a digital stablecoin pegged to USD). The move could significantly boost the adoption of cryptocurrencies in mainstream e-commerce. Shopify is one of the holdings in our Social and Economic Empowerment fund (C5KE), so how is adopting crypto in payments sustainable in Shopify's case? This isn’t Shopify’s first foray into crypto. Shopify has integrated payment applications like Coinbase Commerce and before. However, Solana Pay (the blockchain used to make USDC payments) differs because of its low energy intensity. Shopify is home to around 1.7 million businesses and accounts for roughly 10% of all e-commerce transactions in the US. Solana isn’t just a more environmentally friendly way to operate cryptocurrency; it could change the fortunes of Shopify’s business owners. Fees for these merchants can be between 1.5% - 3.5% per transaction. Transactions processed for customers paying in USDC using Solana cost less than a penny ($0.00025). Solana is a proof-of-stake blockchain — it does not require energy-intensive mining to validate transactions. Stay with us here.

Instead, transactions are validated by nodes that stake their SOL tokens — making Solana much more sustainable than other blockchains.

In other words, Shopify customers could complete 6,950,000 Solana transactions with the energy it takes to create just one Bitcoin.

Each payment transaction using Solana uses less energy than a single Google search. Solana offsets the energy used in each transaction, bringing its net carbon impact to zero.  Are cryptocurrencies the future of online payments?

And more importantly, can crypto truly shake off its ‘unsustainable’ label?

Read more on Solana’s environmental impact here.

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