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75% of Bitcoin mining is done in China and could become a problem for the environment

Stock photo illustrative representation of a bitcoin.  April 24, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic
Stock photo illustrative representation of a bitcoin. April 24, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

A recent report in the scientific journal Nature indicates that 75% of Bitcoin (BTC) mining takes place in China and that this could become an energy problem, due to the carbon emissions of the activity.

Although the algorithm of work test O Proof of Work (PoW), used for mining, has allowed the BTC blockchain to function relatively stable, several unexpected behaviors have been detected. First, the article points out that the attractive financial incentive Rising cryptocurrency mining has sparked an “arms race” in hardware activity, which has evolved.

Initially, the miners used a CPU basic general purpose computers. Later, they began to be used more GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), with more power and hash (the generated addresses or codes) higher. Finally, application-specific ICs were introduced (ASIC involving chip segmentation) that are optimized to perform calculations hash. In short, they are more powerful circuits than the GPU.

According to Nature, BTC mining activity and the hardware used to mine steadily have led to a large volume of power consumption.. In this sense, he points out that The increasing energy consumption and environmental impacts of the blockchain of this cryptocurrency have posed problems for many countries, especially China.

Due to the proximity to specialized hardware manufacturers and access to cheap electricity, most of the mining process has been carried out in China, as miners in the country account for more than 75% of the Bitcoin network. A) Yes, it is one of the largest energy consuming countries on the planet.

The Nature post explains that without the right interventions and policies, the intensive operation of the Bitcoin blockchain in China can grow rapidly as a threat that could undermine the carbon emission reduction effort being carried out in the country.

FILE PHOTO: A small toy figurine is seen on representations of the Bitcoin virtual currency displayed in front of an image of China's flag in this illustration picture, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A small toy figurine is seen on representations of the Bitcoin virtual currency displayed in front of an image of China’s flag in this illustration picture, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

In this sense, by analyzing the carbon emission flows of the Bitcoin blockchain operation in China with a simulation-based model, the researchers who worked on the article found that, without any policy intervention, The annual energy consumption of the Bitcoin blockchain in China is expected to peak in 2024 consuming about 297 terawatt hours and generating around 130 million metric tons of carbon emissions. These numbers are worrying.

For its part, the UK-based Bitcoin mining company Argo Blockchain produced a report that also suggests that 75% of Bitcoin mining takes place in China, where “blood currency” is manufactured, as well the production of Bitcoin mined with the use of fossil fuels is called.

To better understand energy consumption and the problem with carbon, “How to avoid a climate disaster”, the latest book published in 2020 by Bill Gates explains where the world is and what could be done to reach 2030 by reducing the footprint carbon.

The Bitcoin network consumes more energy annually than all of Argentina, as stated by the University of Cambridge in a study where he measured the energy used by the crypto currency system. By comparing energy consumption by country, the document shows that “the Bitcoin network consumes 121.36 TWh while Argentine consumption is 121 TWh, ranking 31st in the world ranking of energy use”, A ladder that is led by China with 5,564 TWh and USA con 3.902 Twh.

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