Bitcoin mining pollution increases due to Chinese ban


China’s ban on Bitcoin (BTC) mining has taken a toll on the environment. Since the attack on the industry, grid remediation has increased carbon emissions, as miners have been forced to turn to fossil-fuel energy sources, leaving behind the renewable energies they used to use on Chinese soil.

This is what was claimed by a report published in the specialized journal Goal, which highlights that mining has become “dirtyer” after the Chinese ban. In numbers, renewable energy generation used in blockchain processing It fell to 25% in August 2021, from 42% in 2020.

According to Alex de Vries, one of the study’s authors, Bitcoin mining generates more than 65 megatons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. This is more than Greece produced in 2019, he explained.

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De Vries said that after miners migrated to other countries such as Kazakhstan or the United States, They began to use other types of fossil materials with greater amounts of carbonThis is more polluting and less environmentally friendly.

After bitcoin miners were expelled from China, they were forced to migrate to countries such as the United States and Kazakhstan, and unfortunately, this reduced the use of renewables in the grid. The bottom line is that the carbon density in the lattice has increased.

Lex de Vries, Researcher at Jules.

As is known, bitcoin mining is an activity responsible for processing the blockchain network through specialized machines, a task that is performed by finding and solving chain blocks. This activity is carried out with electrical energy, which, as already mentioned, can use environmentally friendly or non-friendly sources.

Hydroelectric power is widely used for bitcoin mining. / Source: Megaconstrucciones.net.

In this sense, the researcher explained that Mining has increased its carbon use by nearly 17% since China banned this activity in May 2021. At the time, they claimed they were seeking CO2 emissions neutrality for the next 40 years.

It pollutes, but does not pose a threat to the environment

Although it is true that migration has caused an increase in pollution, as this report makes clear, It is also true that the activity is not a threat to the environmentAccording to another study countering the one presented by Jules.

This report, which was reviewed by CriptoNoticias in September 2021, showed that even at a cost of $10 billion per unit, bitcoin mining would not exceed 1% of total energy consumption.

In fact, they suggest that after the exodus of miners, carbon emissions into the atmosphere decreased from 581 grams of CO2/kWh to 501 grams of CO2/kWh, a drop of only 12%. This may not be directly related to the expulsion of miners.

Thus, they point out that while bitcoin mining is tainted, it is not in an exaggerated way. It is also often referred to in traditional media.

It is known, for example, that in regions such as Latin America, mining is carried out using renewable energies, such as hydropower. Also, there are mining projects using solar energy, as mentioned by this medium.

Nuclear energy is also used to mine bitcoin. / Source: Energy Newspaper.

If we talk about the United States, which now concentrates the highest rate of hashrate in the world, there are companies devoted to activity using nuclear energy, which does not cause any pollution.

These generations are environmentally friendly, as proven by studies. This indicates that now There is a mixed use of energies to process the Bitcoin networkan activity that ensures safety and keeps the ecosystem alive, without affecting the environment as importantly as it is created, for example, by cars or oil plants.

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