Why cryptocurrency mining is an environmental disaster


May 24, 2021

Cryptocurrency is being blamed as a new destroyer of the environment because energy consumed in related activities is exploding.

Cryptocurrency is being blamed as a new destroyer of the environment. This is because, while many countries around the world are making efforts to reduce carbon emissions to prevent global warming, investments in cryptocurrencies are increasing, and the energy consumed in related activities is exploding. Digital currency is created through a process called mining.

Mining refers to the process of maintaining a 'blockchain network' of coins using the computing power of computers and accumulating new coins as a reward. The mining process requires an enormous amount of computing power, which requires considerable electrical energy consumption. Experts predict that in 2021, the Bitcoin network will need 129 terawatt hours (TWh) of power, or 1700 percent more energy than Google. The region where mining takes place is also a problem. Coin mining sites are mainly located in developing countries so that they can use cheap electricity. In particular, it is known that China accounts for about 70% of the world's mining volume. While electricity prices are low in these developing countries, a high proportion of their total electricity production relies on fossil-fueled power plants that emit a lot of carbon. In other words, cryptocurrency mining could lead to higher carbon emissions.

For example, Bitcoin mining is expected to emit approximately 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2024. While there is a lot of interest in cryptocurrency at present, it is difficult to think about stopping mining. Therefore, we must find a sustainable way. One of them is to increase the ratio of renewable energy in power sources in terms of the overall energy ratio. Reducing fossil fuel sources and supplying electricity through renewable energy will reduce carbon emissions.

In addition, we would like to suggest a method of reducing the power generation source required through electricity saving by improving energy efficiency through FORCE. Mining cryptocurrency with 100% renewable energy is still a story of the future. Therefore, through efficient electricity supply, the same amount of mining but the amount of electricity required is applied to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Either way, environmental pollution caused by cryptocurrency is a problem that must be resolved as soon as possible.