The mining process criptomoedas, such as Bitcoin, accounts for almost 1% of the total energy consumption in the world. This was announced by computer scientist Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University, as testimony of an American seniors energy committee.
READ: Seven interesting facts about crypto coins
The research changes the previous projections, which predicted an expenditure in the order of 0.5% with energy from Bitcoin and other crime cases. Many experts indicate that the activity already emits more CO2 into the atmosphere than gold mine processes.
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Mining of every critpomoeda is an intensive calculation process that requires a lot of energy, so that the hardware works maximally when looking for the coins. In addition, another factor contributing to high expenditure is the fact that mining companies and bases have to invest heavily in environments with powerful ventilation systems that eventually also consume a lot of energy.
It is a circle fed by a big question. Arvind Narayanan stated in his testimony that the evolution of hardware towards greater energy efficiency – greater processing capacity with lower consumption – has no effect on the total consumption of the mining activity. For the specialist, which regulates the electricity consumption of the virtual currency, the quotation is: if they are worth a lot, the consumption increases, if they are low, it decreases.
Computers are not perfect machines, that is, they do not convert all their work into work. That is why they inevitably waste a lot of the energy they consume. It is possible to measure the amount of this waste by the heat generated by the Bitcoin mine machine, because it is electricity that has not been converted into information (or money).
So Narayanan believes that increasing the efficiency of the hardware is not effective, because this relationship between energy consumed and wasted by computers will not disappear: the heat generated by each electronics has to do with the physical properties of the components that to offer some degree of resistance to the passage of electrical current through its circuits. The higher the resistance, or the more electricity you try to flow through these circuits (overclocking or, for example, using a mining machine), the higher the generated heat.
Cryptomoedamining rooms tend to concentrate heat, allowing the cooling systems of the rooms to be provided with more and more warm air. So aggressive cooling solutions have to be installed in the environment and these units ultimately correspond to another large part of the energy consumption of Bitcoin's mining activity and the like.
In May this year, experts reached a consensus that the energy consumption associated with the mining activity of cryptocarbon was 0.5% – an amount that corresponds to the Austrian electricity consumption.
Alex de Vries, the economist who is responsible for the Digiconomist, estimates that the energy needed to carry out a simple Bitcoins transaction from generation to value transfer to a portfolio is equal to the consumption of a home in a week : 215 kWh.
The seasonal analyzes of Vries, published in his blog, show a serious trend of a high consumption of energy. In addition, there is research by the economist that indicates that Bitcoins mining has a greater CO2-generating impact than gold mining. The extraction of one kilo of gold releases 20 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, while in Bitcoin the value can reach 49 tons of greenhouse gas.
Vries points out that no process is efficient and both emit large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, especially if you take into account that the average CO2 emissions of a home are about 10 tons of CO2 per year.
For the expert, the figures are all the more serious because the activity of Bitcoin is only for speculation, while gold extraction processes, however aggressive, are part of an economic activity that produces prosperity and stimulates the economy.