Cryptocurrency miners that consume huge amounts of electricity are struggling to reduce carbon emissions

Some cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum can be earned as 'mining' rewards for solving esoteric calculations to add new blockchains. The Wall Street Journal, an economic newspaper, reports that mining companies are trying to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible by introducing renewable energy to avoid criticism that such mining is increasing carbon emissions. I am.

Crypto Miners Struggle to Cut Carbon Emissions --WSJ

The amount of calculation required for mining is enormous, and only the person who solves the problem first is rewarded. In order to mine in large quantities faster than anyone else, companies that mine by running multiple high-performance computers at the same time appeared early on.

What is the unknown reality of infiltrating a huge facility that earns about 180 million yen with virtual currency in one month? --GIGAZINE

However, enormous power is required to fully operate dozens or hundreds of computers to solve cryptographic calculations. Therefore, it has been pointed out that mining virtual currencies causes excessive emissions of warming gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and is one of the major causes of global warming.

Global warming will reach its limit by 2033 with Bitcoin mining alone --GIGAZINE

Mining companies tend to build dedicated mining facilities in areas where electricity costs are low. Most of the cheap electricity comes from thermal power generation, and as a result, it is difficult to reduce carbon emissions from mining. 'People who mine cryptocurrencies care about electricity bills and can't afford to worry about the climate,' said Alex de Vries, an economist who studies the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining. ..

In some countries and regions, crackdowns on mining companies have been strengthened, as a bill banning the use of fossil fuels for mining is being considered in the state of New York in the United States in order to reduce carbon emissions from such virtual currency mining. Is being done.

In addition, some Bitcoin mining companies claim to use renewable energy such as wind power and solar power. For example, in El Salvador, where Bitcoin is the legal tender for the first time in the world, a mining company that obtains electricity from geothermal power generation in a volcanic area has appeared. In addition, companies are emerging to build mining facilities in partnership with nuclear power plants.

As an environmentally friendly power source where Bitcoin mining companies are working with 'nuclear power generation' --GIGAZINE

In addition, in April 2021, the industry agreement 'Cryptocurrency Accord ' aiming to 'reduce carbon emissions by mining virtual currencies to zero by 2030' was announced, and 180 companies' virtuals at the time of writing the article. Cryptocurrency companies have announced their participation. One of them, Gryphon Digital Mining , claims to have reduced carbon emissions to virtually zero by launching a 21-megawatt hydropower facility and signing a contract with a power company that supplies more than half of its electricity with renewable energy. doing.

However, de Vries says that even if he tries to put environmentally friendly renewable energy into mining, he has no choice but to use fossil fuel-derived power to bring it to the level where mining facilities can operate. Therefore, we believe that fossil fuel consumption cannot be stopped simply by switching the power source to renewable energy by mining companies.

According to theCambridge Center for Alternative Finance , an economic research institute, Bitcoin mining activity worldwide has declined by 20% immediately after the ban on cryptocurrency trading in China.

in Note, Posted by log1i_yk