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Bitcoin: The driving force behind the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Our CEO, Sascha Grumbach, gave this talk first at Blockchance 29.06.2023, link to the event here

Bitcoin, often criticized for its energy consumption, might seem like an unlikely candidate for contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

However, a closer look reveals that the technology behind Bitcoin is making significant strides towards achieving many of if not all of these global objectives.

In this article, we will share a few findings resulting from our research on how Bitcoin is working towards realizing each of the set SDGs and promoting a more sustainable future.

We are trying to keep this light and give you an idea in which direction Bitcoin can lead us. We are committed to deepening our work on this topic. There is more to come. Until then, we hope you are getting as excited as we got looking into this.

SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

A McKinsey study from 2022 defines uncontrolled inflation and war as the two main reasons for the increase in poverty. With bitcoin there is no such uncontrolled inflation and wars are most likely too expensive to finance them. Bitcoin has the power to redistribute wealth and to help end poverty.

SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

There is a direct correlation between inflation and global food price index and therefore global level of food insecurity. If there was less inflation through Bitcoin, we see a lower food price index and therefore lower levels of food insecurity. In addition blockchain technology, which underlies Bitcoin, can enhance food supply chain transparency and traceability. This can help reduce food wastage, improve access to markets for farmers, and ultimately contribute to achieving zero hunger.

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

‍The House Poll Survey by the Federal Reserve Bank Dallas reveals that +75% of Americans are either moderately or very stressed and somewhat or very concerned regarding the country's inflation. Stress and worry are prime reasons for depression and other psychological challenges. With less inflation in our system we could prevent serious health issues 

SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Bitcoin is a multifacet asset that, if one really wants to understand it, enables and somewhat forces us to dive into software, hardware, macro economics, social, finance and many other relevant topics. One of Bitcoins core properties is Self-custody. No-one can be made accountable for your own loss. If all my wealth depends on only me and my decisions I make sure to know as much as I can.  

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Studies show that in many countries less than 40% of women are banked. They are depending on their husbands. Bitcoin is open to anyone, regardless of gender. It can empower women by providing them with equal opportunities to make transactions, participate in global commerce and make decisions by and for themselves.

SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Bitcoin mining is the greenest industry by source of energy on the planet. In the future we will see Bitcoin help build out energy infrastructure, balancing grids and join forces with other business models turning more and more of the global energy infrastructure into sustainable energy sources. This process will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power and their intensive water consumption and pollution.

SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

‍Bitcoin mining can support grid build outs, it can make depreciated renewable power plants profitable and it can help load balancing local and national grids. This incentivizes the development and use of renewable energy sources. Miners seek out low-cost, sustainable energy solutions, driving innovation in the renewable energy sector and promoting clean energy access.

SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

‍The FIAT money system is one of the main drivers for inefficient use of capital and unproductive growth. A study published by the IMF named “The Rise of the Walking Dead: Zombie Firms around the World '' reveals that in the United States about 10% of listed and 5% of private companies have so much debt and screwed processes that they will most likely never become profitable again. If our global reserve currency only had 21m units. Would we not think twice about how to spend it and what to invest in? I would!

SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

‍Bitcoin's underlying technology, blockchain, encourages innovation in various sectors, including supply chain management, finance, and governance. It can lead to the development of more efficient and transparent infrastructure. The speed of development of new business cases and technologies in the industry is incredible making bitcoin one of if not THE fastest growing technology of our civilization.

SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

‍Bitcoin can help reduce economic inequality by providing a decentralized financial system that is accessible to everyone, irrespective of their socio-economic background. It enables financial inclusion and promotes wealth distribution. The “Proof-of-work” mechanism is also a concept that for the first time in our modern history does not incentives capital (proof of stake) more than actual work: getting the energy, managing a site, computing an algorithm, leading a team and so forth. 

SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Bitcoin mining operations often support the development of sustainable communities, as they invest in local infrastructure, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth. Bitcoin Mining’s mobile, flexible and fast nature enables the industry to balance grids, build out renewable energies and support other businesses - all the foundation for sustainable cities and communities.

SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

‍In many cases our society has a high time preference: Get what I want now no matter at what cost. We will take out a loan, We will sacrifice health, wealth and so forth. Bitcoin fosters a low time preference based on game theory and a controlled decreasing inflation of the asset. This has quite a positive effect on many bitcoiners. “Do I need to go out eat a burger or do I cook and buy some sats? Do I smoke that cigarette or do I stop and rather buy sats for 10  USD / day. Less and more conscious consumption leads to less production. 

SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

‍If we had a more sustainable financial system without uncontrolled inflation, were experiencing more equality and gave renewable power sources a push, maybe we would be able to turn back the pointer of the world climate clock.

SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 

Bitcoin fosters a mindset of limited supply. This being part of our education will support humanity to also understand the limited availability of our oceans, seas and marine resources. While a large problem for our oceans and seas is plastic waste, Bitcoin and its properties fostering a low time preference will support society to rethink, reuse, redesign and conserve.

SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Gold mining takes place in some of the most beautiful places in the world, including the South American Jungle or the colorful Islands of Indonesia. Gold mines are directly correlated to heavy environmental pollution, are huge and once set-up destroy whole ecosystems - You can see this even from out of space. Bitcoin mines are much smaller, securing the modern gold of our time.

SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

‍Alex Gladstein, the chief strategy officer at Human Rights Foundation says: “If Bitcoin was adopted as a global reserve currency, nation-states would be less incentivized to start wars. "We literally print money. We sell bonds to the open market for a promise to pay in the future and we use the income from the bond sales to pay for these wars,”. Bitcoin Solves this too!

SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

Imagine a world with countries independent from the USD and thereby one other nation. Imagine a world without capital for war, a world in which we all live with a mindset of limited supply and an abundance of opportunities, a world with conscious consumption and sustainable processes and practices. This is a world in which the global community can come together and focus on creation rather than destruction. This is a world built on Bitcoin. Bitcoin solves this!


While Bitcoin has faced criticism for its energy consumption and potential use for illegal activities, research is proving more and more of these statements of the past to be wrong. 

My hypothesis is that a world built on Bitcoin is more likely to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals than a world built on a FIAT monetary system. 

The sources I am quoting and the numbers I am using for my research and presentations are not some crypto focused web pages online for 12 months or other narrative creating mainstream media. All data comes from IMF, FED, McKinsey, The European Commission, United Nations and look a likes. 

As our industry continues to evolve and embrace sustainable practices, Bitcion has the potential to become a driving force for positive change on a global scale, working hand in hand with governments, organizations, and individuals to create a more equitable and sustainable world.

It’s time to wake up. 

Tick Tock, next Block.

Bitcoin solves this.