Carbon emissions are comparable to first-tier cities in Europe and America, and bitcoin is produced as a “black hole” in energy consumption.

Bitcoin, which incited the capital market to change leverage, is gaining more attention because of its potential burden on the climate and the environment. The "Energy Monitoring Data" of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and the "Carbon Footprint Report" released by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany have pointed out that the huge amount of computing makes the "bitcoin mining machine", which is used to earn bitcoin. The power consumption of the computer is amazing, and it generates a lot of carbon emissions.

Huge power consumption is worth alerting

The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Inde (CBECI) online tool developed by the University of Cambridge recently pointed out that the annual energy consumption of Bitcoin is estimated to be 60.45 TWh (1 TWh is about 1 billion kWh). ), accounting for about 0.25% of the total global energy consumption. This is equivalent to 365 years of electricity demand at Cambridge University, or it can supply electricity to Europe for a year and a half.

According to CBECI, the annual energy consumption of Bitcoin even exceeds the energy consumption of 58.46 TWh per year in Switzerland, and if “Bitcoin” is compared to the country, it ranks 41 in the global national and regional energy consumption rankings . It is understood that CBECI is updated every 30 seconds. As of the publication of the British "Independent" on July 3, the data shows that Bitcoin has consumed 7.57 GW of electricity this year, accounting for 2.1% of the global power supply.

The BBC News reported that last year some institutions predicted the energy consumption of Bitcoin to be comparable to Ireland. This year, Cambridge claimed to have surpassed Switzerland . It is clear that bitcoin energy consumption has risen sharply in the past year. In view of the continuous enhancement of network computing power and the accelerated popularization of cryptocurrencies, the energy demand of Bitcoin will continue to rise in the future.

CBECI co-founder Michel Rauchs said: "We hope to express the facts in the most intuitive way, CBECI visitors can judge the energy consumption of bitcoin mining machines." He added that CBECI is only a reliable information and The objective platform for data was created to show the impact of the bitcoin mining industry on society and the environment.

CBECI can not only show the energy consumption of Bitcoin in real time, but also provide contrast dimensions with other entities. For example, hydropower can be used for bitcoin mining machines for 69 times, and biofuel power generation can be used for bitcoin mining machines. Secondary, solar and wind energy can be used for 23 bit bit mining machines.

CBECI's assessment is very close to the previous statistics made by Power Compare, which expects Bitcoin's annual electricity consumption to be between 55.63 and 73.12 TWh, ranking energy consumption in countries and regions around the world. The list is ranked 39.

For the assessment of bitcoin energy consumption, the industry generally has a positive attitude. It is believed that the energy consumption, electricity consumption and emission level of cryptocurrency are very important for environmental protection, and should be given higher level of attention and vigilance. In fact, since most organizations can only predict through lagging data, there is no most reliable statistics on Bitcoin's energy consumption, so a more comprehensive analysis and assessment of its specific emission scale is needed.

Carbon emissions are comparable to first-tier cities in Europe and America

It is worth mentioning that TUM rate released the Bitcoin carbon footprint report, which is the most detailed statistics on the carbon dioxide emissions of this virtual currency so far, that is, the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining machines is 22 million to 22.9 million per year. Tons, equivalent to one year's carbon dioxide emissions in Hamburg , Germany or Las Vegas, USA .

The TUM Interdisciplinary Research Group noted that in 2018 alone, the computer capacity of bitcoin mining machines increased fourfold. To date, 68% of the world's Bitcoin mining machine network is located in Asia, 17% in Europe, and the remaining 15% in North America.

Coincidentally, TUM's statistics coincide with a report by the scientific journal Joule. According to the report, the power required by the Bitcoin mining machine generates approximately 22 million tons of carbon dioxide per year , which is equivalent to the annual carbon emissions in Kansas City, USA.

In this regard, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Bitcoin expert Alex de Vries said that the most important thing is to define the carbon footprint as soon as possible compared to energy consumption. In his signature article "Bitcoin's Growing Energy Problem" published in Joule, he pointed out that the energy consumption of the bitcoin mining industry is growing, compared with the normal financial system, this is a Extreme differences, and this certainly has a disadvantage for the world to cope with the climate change crisis.

"German Voice" wrote that even if you don't use Bitcoin, a search on Google will consume 0.3 watts (about 0.0003 kWh), and if you search 20 times on Google, it is equivalent. Use energy-saving lamps for 1 hour. Globally, the Internet produces more than 33 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the sum of airborne CO2 emissions from the entire aviation system in Germany. In this way, computers that require huge computing power and may not “dive” Bitcoin day and night will produce incalculable emissions .

Accelerate and link to green power

In response to how to reduce the carbon footprint of Bitcoin, Christian Stoll, head of the interdisciplinary research team at TUM, said that in order to improve the ecological balance and protect the environment, accelerating the bitcoin mining industry and green power is the most reliable and direct choice.

In this regard, British cryptocurrency investment products and research provider CoinShares pointed out that the bitcoin mining industry has long been "inseparable" from renewable energy, and the "large carbon footprint" proposed by some organizations is debatable. CoinShares is one of the profitable analysts of Bitcoin mining, which pointed out in its latest report that Bitcoin does not “extremely” harm the planet, and 74% of “mining activities” are done through renewable energy .

CoinTelegraph, the US digital currency information website, quoted CoinShares' latest data, showing that renewable energy generation accounts for nearly 74.1% of the energy mix in the bitcoin mining industry , which is four times the global renewable energy share in the energy mix. Interestingly, this ratio is 3.7% lower than CoinShares' 77.8% announced in November last year. The decline is due to the emergence of new “mining clusters” in countries and regions where traditional fuel power generation is prevalent.

CoinShares pointed out that Bitcoin mining is mainly located in the region of renewable electricity supply worldwide, and is more environmentally friendly than almost all other large industries. In addition to New York and Russia in the United States, the “mines” of Washington and Oregon, Canada, British Columbia and Quebec, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Georgia all use renewable energy to generate electricity.

Some experts pointed out that Bitcoin mining is of great significance to the development of renewable energy. Renewable energy power transmission through optical fiber is cheaper and more convenient than erecting UHV power grid. In fact, although the “mine” is highly mobile and has very little manpower, the huge power consumption, high cost of mining and cooling equipment maintenance costs still make Bitcoin participants “can’t eat” , so electricity Areas with abundant resources and low electricity prices have become the first choice for “mines”.

(Text: China Energy News reporter Wang Lin; Source: China Energy News)