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No, Bitcoin will not consume all the energy in the world


Bitcoin extraction

Every once in a while great news is taken away and reports that Bitcoin will consume all the power in the world.

A conspiracy theorist might say that such stories are instigated by international bank cartels in order to fuel the fear that Bitcoin is not a sustainable alternative to legal currency, and recent findings by experts on the subject will do nothing to mitigate such beliefs. . The fact is that it is not possible for Bitcoin to consume all the power in the world and moreover, the metrics used to reach such conclusions were wrong in the first place.

Responding to an article published in Nature Climate Change and one published in Newsweek, Dr. Jonathan Koomey stressed that the methodology used to draw conclusions such as "the extraction of Bitcoin on the track to consume all the world's energy within 2020 "o" The only bitcoin emissions could push global warming above 2 ° C "is not healthy.

He writes:

While I encourage everyone in the electrical sector to monitor Bitcoin as a potential source of new cargo growth, please use caution and avoid being misled by the hype. The documents of media coverage without breathing beyond the uncertainties of the underlying data, make it appear that Bitcoin is conquering the world, but in reality it is only 0.1% of the total consumption of electricity, and it is unlikely to continue to grow at the recent rates historians.

Moreover, during his interesting answer, he underlines that Bitcoin is not the first technology to be targeted and defamed as an energy pig. He refers to reports from the early 2000s that claimed that the Internet as a whole used more than 10% of the world's electricity and that these statements were actually false, but it has not been for years that the claims have been successfully unmasked. , largely because good science takes time and the collection of quality data is difficult.

"The false factoids on the use of electricity in information technology have emerged from studies funded by the coal industry around the year 2000, at the time of the first bubble dot com and the Californian electricity crisis: they came up again, by the same authors and financiers, in 2005 and 2013, "he wrote. "The statements were reported in all the major newspapers, cited in the investment banking and political reports of both political parties, and avidly promoted by people and companies who should have known better […] All these statements turned out to be couchettes, but it took years of creating peer reviewed research to prove it. We found that the Internet (defined as those authors called it) used only 1% of electricity in the United States in 2000, all computers used 3%, the total would never grow to half of all the use of electricity, and that the factoid of wireless Palm VII network electricity overestimated by a factor of 2000. "

Using total Bitcoin mining power? Less than 1%

According to Koomey, the total use of Bitcoin in the world mining industry is currently around 0.1%. It is important to stress that it is not expected to continue growth at recent rates.

While saying that Bitcoin is certainly an important factor for electrical companies to consider while expanding operations, recent reports on the subject do not help in any way. "It's not a crisis, but we need more research".

It is interesting to know how far misinformation can come. As we went to press with this story, Washington To send published yet another article on the theme of Bitcoin as a ruin for climate change. It would be useful if experts in conflicting opinions were consulted from time to time from these points of sale. The To send he writes:

But the study then compared a hypothetical future bitcoin adoption rate to the history of technologies such as credit cards, dishwashers and the electricity itself, and found that if the bitcoin continues to take hold and if it calculates to record transactions and generate new bitcoins become increasingly complex and demanding – greenhouse gas emissions from mining activities could explode.

Of course, Bitcoin uses a lot of energy, but mining hardware also becomes more efficient with each new generation and even the amount of energy available in the world increases regardless of Bitcoin.

Such reporting around them seems to imply that the world would be better – in a literal way – without Bitcoin. These concepts do not take into account the many positive ways in which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can contribute to solving the problems of the world.

Shutterstock foreground image.

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