Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


Dr. John van Buren


The adoption of blockchain technology as a medium for monetary and management systems creates an opportunity for an environmentally conscious economic system. This paper discusses how Bitcoin and blockchain would provide a socio-economic management system better aligned with a society’s eco-friendly aims and to address the extent of environmental degradation. Unfortunately, our ecosystems are not being protected or restored reflective of the value they provide. Economic models also ignore the varied costs of polluting our ecosystems. Advancements of blockchain-based technology enable a decisive move from current legacy market structures and incentives. Efforts in environmental policy and regulation have ultimately been insufficient accounting for and pricing in positive and negative externalities. Chapter one provides an overview of ecosystem health and its perceived numerical but neglected marketed value. This is followed by qualitatively analyzing human contributions to environmental destruction and degradation in the form of consumerism’s pervasive energy consumption. Chapter two develops moral frameworks through the Environmental Justice movement. Upon this ethical foundation, chapter three inserts an economic lens to attempt numerical estimates of ecosystem values to be factored in through concepts of Environmental Economics. Fundamentals of blockchain and Bitcoin are discussed in Chapter four. In addition, the capability to align one’s values with the environment, and positively incentivize our socio-economic behavior to harbor environmental mindfulness are detailed. Examples of digital currencies as an alternative store of value, blockchain systems aiding renewable energy projects and supply chain management are included as well. Adoption successes and challenges are addressed in Chapter five. Lastly, further recommendations on blockchain implementation to catalyze environmentally conscious societies are suggested.