When we read or hear about bitcoin, we hardly imagine that it could produce cryptocurrency contamination. However, the issue is so significant that even US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently stated that “the amount of energy consumed to process these transactions (along with bitcoins) is staggering.”
In fact, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electric Consumption Index, the total energy consumed by the bitcoin mining process could reach 128 TWh (terawatt-hours) this year. This is 0.6% of the world’s total electricity generation or more than all the annual energy consumption of different countries.
“Bitcoin as a whole country uses more electricity. According to the University of Cambridge, bitcoin uses as much electricity as the entire country of Argentina ”, explains PUBLIMETRO David Gerrard, an expert in cryptocurrency and author of हमलेOffice of 50-foot blockchain ‘.
But why does mining consume so much energy?
This process is performed by machines that perform 24 hours of electricity, producing emissions and heat.
“To be profitable for bitcoin mining, there are factories with thousands of mining equipment that require industrial levels of electricity consumption that produce huge emissions,” John M. Truby, professor and director of the Faculty’s Center for Law and Development Law. .
But Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general not only consume huge amounts of energy, they also produce significant levels of CO2 emissions during the mining process.
According to a study by Technische Universität München (Germany), bitcoin produced 22 million tons of CO2 per year in 2019, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of cities such as Hamburg or Las Vegas. And these numbers are expected to increase even more in the future.
But what can be done to avoid these levels of energy consumption and pollution?
Experts acknowledge that changing the way bitcoins are designed is difficult, so they appeal to miners of this cryptocurrency to improve their devices.
John M. “The best option for bitcoin is to focus on reducing energy consumption and emissions of mining equipment, improving equipment and equipping them with renewable energy,” suggested Truby.
Other options outlined by experts go further and propose new tasks by the authorities.
“I have long suggested a heavy carbon tax on bitcoin trading for real money. The miners are mostly in China, but the most important bitcoin exchanges are in the US which is the control point, so that’s where you have to act, “Gerrard concluded.
PUBLIMETRO gave John M. Truby, Law and Development, spoke with Associate Professor of Law and Director of School of Qatar
Question: Why are cryptocurrencies causing so much pollution?
– Many types of digital currencies require higher levels of energy than other types of transactions, such as Visa payments. Bitcoin mining machines are plugged in 24 hours of electricity and consumption emissions and heat. Machines have to be kept in a cool place, or you have to use air conditioning, which consumes extra energy. This is because many types of digital currency, including bitcoin, have designed their consensus protocols without taking energy conservation into account.
Q: Tell us more about pollution levels.
– The processes involved in a single bitcoin transaction can provide electricity to your home for a month. The society suffers from environmental costs without benefiting from profits. Environmental costs are socialized for personal gain. The society suffers from a climate crisis and does not enjoy any benefits.
Question: How to solve this problem?
– In the case of new types of digital currency, and NFTs, which are also very harmful to the environment today, they should only adopt consensus protocols that do not produce large emissions. It requires pre-planning your design before launching. It may be too late for existing digital currencies, including bitcoin, to change their transaction confirmation methods.
Question: Can officials intervene to reduce pollution levels?
– Governments may target equipment manufacturers or buyers, for example, with fiscal instruments. Governments may tax transactions and benefits of environmentally unstable blockchain technologies. Before Bitcoin becomes a global climate problem, the government can take immediate action against the high energy production of the new NXT art trend.
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