Recently market research was conducted that proved Bitcoin mining only accounted for one-third of the total power consumption. The analysis of the 20 largest crypto assets was done to come to a conclusion. The regulators have been evaluating the impact of crypto mining on the environment recently. The researchers working at Munich’s Technical University have encouraged the regulators to look beyond Bitcoin when it comes to mining crypto assets’ environmental impact.
As mentioned in a reputed scientific journal named Joule, the researchers Christian Stoll, Lena Klaaben, and Ulrich Gallersdorfer determined that Bitcoin mining accounted for only 66 percent of the total power utilization. The report stated that as per the algorithm for crypto mining, current hash rates, and the use of mining devices, Bitcoin mining’s energy consumption only accounts for two-thirds of energy consumption, and other understated cryptocurrencies use the remaining one-third. The power consumption of Altcoins is determined by analyzing the mining equipment and hash rates.
The Blockchains that were analyzed apart from Bitcoin accounts for the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. It includes Komodo (KMD), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), RavenCoin (RVN), Bytom (BTM), Horizen (ZEN), DigitByte(DGB), MonaCoin (MONA), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Decred (DCR), Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (LTC), SlaCoin (SC), DogeCoin (DOGE), Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), and ByteCoin (BCN).
One of the key aspects of the research was to divert the attention of the environmental effect of crypto assets’ mining from only Bitcoin. It is because other crypto assets are causing high damage to the environment as well, which is a significant point missed out in many of the research studies. The study also mentioned that while energy consumption alone is not the factor that affects the environment. The mining of the crypto assets requires a vast amount of ancillary resources that puts an extra burden on the environment. As the number of full-load hours increases for certain crypto assets’ mining, it can lead to potential fuel switching effects that can drastically increase the intensities of local emission.
Hal Finney, a well-known Bitcoin pioneer, noted as early as in 2009 that Bitcoin mining can prove to be a nightmare for the environment, especially due to the amount of energy it requires. He made this observation much before altcoins were introduced. As per Digiconomist, the total power consumption of Bitcoin mining currently is nearly 63.5 terawatt-hours, which is way about the power consumption of some of the highly developed nations, including Switzerland.
Around 73 percent of Bitcoin mining is powered by renewable energy as per the research firm CoinShares. One of the solutions that are proposed to curb energy consumption for Bitcoin mining is to convert additional gas produced during oil mining into electricity. The mining operations can be set up at the field itself in containers, which would save the cost of setting up pipelines or let the excess gas waste.