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Researchers Encourage Regulators To Look Beyond Bitcoin When It Comes To Considering The Environment

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich are encouraging regulators to look beyond Bitcoin when it comes to considering the environmental impact of crypto mining.

On August 4, it has been reported that researchers Ulrich Gallersdörfer, Lena Klaaßen, and Christian Stoll determined that Bitcoin (BTC) mining accounted for only 66% of the total power usage of the 20 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

However, the report stated:

“Based on the underlying algorithms, current hash rates, and suitable mining devices, we conclude that Bitcoin accounts for 2/3 of the total energy consumption, and understudied cryptocurrencies represent the remaining 1/3. Therefore, understudied currencies add nearly 50% on top of Bitcoin’s energy hunger, which already alone may cause considerable environmental damage.”

The study determined the power consumption of altcoins by analyzing their hash rates and mining equipment.

The blockchains included: Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Zcash (ZEC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Decred (DCR), Ravencoin (RVN), MonaCoin (MONA), Bytom (BTM), SiaCoin (SC), DigiByte (DGB), Horizen (ZEN), Komodo (KMD), and Bytecoin (BCN).

According to researchers, any discussion about the environmental impact of crypto mining can’t be limited to the Bitcoin network — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) August 7, 2020

Likewise, the research team emphasized that while cryptocurrency mining’s energy requirements are a cause of concern for environmentalists, many studies focus exclusively on Bitcoin rather than all cryptocurrencies.

The report stated:

“Energy consumption, per se, is not an issue in the context of climate change. The increase in full-load hours of certain generation resources may lead to fuel switching effects and alter local emission intensities.”

Hal Finney, the Bitcoin pioneer, noted as early as 2009 that mining had the potential to create an environmental nightmare due to its energy requirements, and this was prior to the creation of altcoins.

Thinking about how to reduce CO2 emissions from a widespread Bitcoin implementation — halfin (@halfin) January 27, 2009

According to the Digiconomist, the collective power consumption of the Bitcoin mining network as of today, around 63.5 terawatt-hours, eclipses the power consumption of several developed countries, including Switzerland.

Most of the power for Bitcoin mining already comes from renewable energy sources.

It has been analyzed that one solution proposed to address the energy consumption of mining crypto is converting excess gas produced while mining oil into electricity. By setting up mining operations in containers at the fields, there is no need to set up pipelines or waste excess gas.

Thus, the operations simply turn the surplus gas or oil into electricity to power the mining rigs.

Source: Cointelegraph | Image: Tokeneo



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