Bitcoin

Can the Environment Shoulder the Cost of Crypto Mining?

With the value of bitcoin soaring over $18,000 USD in December 2017, people from all over the world are paying serious attention to cryptocurrencies. The industry isn’t without its criticisms, though — and one of the major ones is that cryptomining use incredible amounts of energy to mine for coins. Are the claims valid?

Also read: Wall St Faces Growing Pressure to Pay Talent in Cryptocurrency

Join the Bitsonline Telegram channel to get the latest Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and tech news updates: https://t.me/bitsonline

An Increasingly Criticized Industry

Can the Environment Shoulder the Cost of Crypto Mining?
Can the Environment Shoulder the Cost of Crypto Mining?

Cryptocurrencyoffers a viable alternative to current financial structures that:

However, that doesn’t make the cryptocurrencyindustry many fans in traditionalfinancial and economic sectors.

In addition, according to current research, Bitcoin appears to be environmentally disruptive too — and not in the good way:

In addition, these are only the energycosts recorded for 2016. The value of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and several other cryptocurrencies are on an incredible rise over the past several months. That means 2017 will presumably have been considerably more taxing.

Fossil Fuels Are A Big Problem

As cryptocoins become more valuable, the computational demands to solve problems and get rewards for Proof-of-Work (PoW) solutions increases. This requires the use of more expensive hardware like ASIC miners and graphics cards to recover rewards. In addition, ASIC miners and graphics cards demand even more powerusage.

Unfortunately, then, people are starting to use words like, “environmental hazard” to describe cryptocurrencymining because most miners are using fossil fuels like coal and natural gas for their electricity.

If cryptominers don’t do something quickly to change this perspective, Christopher Malmo of Motherboard Vice makes a comment that will likely be echoed by crypto’s critics in 2018 if changes aren’t made:

“[…] similar computing technologies exist in centralized forms that currently run much more efficiently. This isn’t to say blockchains are useless, just that there are costs to their decentralization that are borne by the environment in the absence of something like a carbon tax.”

Fortunately, though, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Several companies are making positive changes in this regard by creating viable, sustainable models for the mining of cryptocurrencies that are causing minimal environmental impact.

Eco-Friendlier Mining

Standard American Mining runs an off-grid mining facility that runs on fuel created by burning tires called “syngas.” Burning tires also burns steel and produces carbon black. These substances contribute to energyproduction as well.

Landfilled tires leach chemicals into the ground. Burning tires instead of coal reduces carbon emissions by 18-24 percent. However, it still produces gas emissions.

Burning tires isn’t a completely green solution accordingly, but it is greener than using fossil fuels to mine coins.

Eco-Friendliest?

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has announced plans to switch to a “Proof-of-Stake” model in 2018. In this structure, “stakers” secure their coins in specialized wallets and are rewarded for locking up their capital, maintaining nodes, and ensuring their private keys are kept safe. There are also significant penalties for reverting transactions.

Perhaps the most exciting concept, Chia, has been proposed by BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen. Chia uses proofs of storage and time as proofs of value for workers to earn coins. Earning coins is referred to as “farming” rather than “mining.”

Cohen states that the Chia blockchainoffers the same security as the Bitcoinblockchain yet uses minimal electricity. He describes Chia as “The Better Bitcoin.”

A New Day Is Coming

Unfortunately, if the crypto community is unable to address questions of negative environmental impact and climate change quickly, the industry’s critics will bring these issues to light.

In addition, the toll that mining could take on the environment might be immeasurable in just a few short years. However, the crypto community is proving itself to be up for the challenge.

Several companies are making solid strides in the way of positive change. Surely there are more changes to come.

Do you think the cryptomining industry will be greener by the end of 2018? What changes do you think will create the most lasting impact? Let’s hear your thoughts!


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons, Flickr and Twitter

The postCan the Environment Shoulder the Cost of Crypto Mining? appeared first on Bitsonline.

Source link

Similar Posts