Last year, the Chinese government ordered cryptocurrency miners to stop mining because it went against the principles of the Chinese Communist Party. As a result, many miners moved abroad. You might expect this to be immediately better for the climate, but according to a study, the climate has deteriorated as a result.
The research was published in the scientific journal Joule and comes from the Free University of Amsterdam, among others, and the CCRI Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute from Germany. Alex de Vries is co-author of Research and founder of Digiconomist, a website that publishes an index of Bitcoin energy consumption.
sThe situation worsened even after the Chinese ban
Scientists claim that China’s crypto ban doesn’t just reduce carbon dioxide2emissions, it has exacerbated the situation. This is probably due in part to the fact that miners in China often use huge hydroelectric power stations along the country’s major rivers. Electricity in those areas is very cheap and very clean. Not every country where miners have moved has such energy sources.
According to the researchers, the percentage of renewable energy used in cryptocurrency mining has fallen from around 42% in August to 25%. In addition, it produces more than 65 megatons of carbon dioxide annually. That’s more than a country like Greece, which produced about 52 megatons of greenhouse gases in 2020, according to Our World in Data. And according to the data site, the Mediterranean country is also in a downtrend.
Co-author de Vries also confirms that many miners from China have moved to Kazakhstan and the United States. This also reduces the use of renewable energy sources. Kazakhstan, for example, is largely dependent on coal-fired power plants. Coal is one of the most polluting fossil fuels you can use. The “carbon density” increased by 17% as a result of this shift.
Whe is right?
DrThe said 25% is a stark contrast to other reports, where the Bitcoin Mining Board previously claimed the network had an efficiency of 58.5%. It must be emphasized that Digiconomist is often very negative about Bitcoin. So the research may be somewhat biased. Of course you can say the same about the Bitcoin Mining Board. So it is difficult to judge who is right.
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