Crypto Mining is more energetic than the extraction of any other material
A shocking report by a British journal Nature Sustainability shows that in the last two years cryptocurrency extraction has generated between 3 and 15 million tons of carbon emissions. Furthermore, the research also found that Bitcoin mining requires more electricity than traditional mining of any other material.
The mining of $ 1 of bitcoins and Monero consumed more energy (17 and 14 megajoules, respectively), compared to Ethereum and Litecoin (both averaging 7 MJ). In the meantime, the conventional extraction of $ 1 that was worth several physical metals required less energy: rare earth metals (9 MJ), precious metals (7 MJ), gold (5 MJ) and copper (4 MJ). The only exception is aluminum, which required 122 MJ.
The co-authors, Krause and Tolaymat, say that during the 2.5 years, the four cryptocurrency networks (bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero) have generated between 3 and 15 million tons of carbon emissions (1 ton is equivalent to 1 , 1 ton US).
"At least for that two-and-a-half year period, the extraction of a dollar value of bitcoins required about three times more energy than that of gold in dollars." I was shocked to see that the numbers were so high ", said Krause.
Although the report overlooks the fact that much has changed in the cryptocurrency during the term under consideration. In a distinct way, mining is spreading rapidly outside of China. With drilling rig managers strive to get the cheapest possible energy. Many have settled in Canada because of the abundant hydroelectric resources or of Iceland with its geothermal energy.
However, the author admitted that the environmental repercussions of Bitcoin mining are much lower than those of a physical metal that needs to be modeled, transported and stored in ways that are not necessary for intangible assets.
It is important to remember that most transformation technologies start out as inefficient. We have to iterate it to make it better. For example, to manage the inefficient Bitcoin Proof of Work algorithm can be replaced by a stake test. Ethereum is already working on this problem.
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