Does Belarus use nuclear power to dig the bitcoin economy?

According to the Wall Street Journal [1], Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that he would use the power of the nation to develop digital currency mining, saying that it would allow cryptocurrency mining to set up factories in the country, and will soon use excess nuclear power to make new ones. Encrypted digital currency mines provide electricity.

The president’s nuclear power plant is a new nuclear power plant built in the Astravyets area of ​​the Grodno area, close to the Lithuanian border. This nuclear power plant has two nuclear reactors. The first unit is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year and the second unit will begin to generate electricity in the summer of 2020. The total capacity of the new nuclear power plant will be around 2,400 megawatts. These nuclear power plants are still under construction and are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019. By then, Belarus will be the first country in the world to use nuclear power plants for electric mining.

As we all know, most of the world's mainstream bitcoin large mines use hydroelectric power and wind power, and some use traditional thermal power (coal power generation). It is very common for a mine to pack a small hydropower directly to the bitcoin mine next to it. Compared with these, does nuclear power mining in Belarus seem to be more powerful? Still have to say economically. Let's take a look at the cost study of nuclear power.

The scientific journal Energy published a paper on economic analysis of nuclear fusion in volume 152 published on June 1, 2018 [2]. The paper gives a comparative chart of multiple energy generation.

First look at LCOE (homogenization power generation cost):

Image source: ScienceDirect[2]

It can be seen that nuclear fission technology has the lowest power generation cost and thermal power is also very cheap.

Look at the external costs (intuitive understanding is that environmental protection is not environmentally friendly):

Image source: ScienceDirect[2]

Thermal power damage to the environment is still very strong, and external costs are at the end (the least environmentally friendly). The technology of nuclear fusion is very environmentally friendly, but it is still far from actual use. The Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has built the world's first fully superconducting magnet tokamak nuclear fusion reaction experimental device in Hefei, the capital of Anhui Province, China [3], achieving a stable length of 101.2 seconds on July 3, 2017. Pulsed high-constrained plasma operation, the world's first tokamak device to achieve stable high-constraint to the order of hundred seconds, this ultra-long stable constraint time has created a world record [4].

So the overall look is that the TCOE (integrated power generation cost) is the lowest, and the current technically useful nuclear fission reactor :

Image source: ScienceDirect[2]

If the nuclear reactor in Belarus is put into production as scheduled, it seems that it can bring cheaper, cleaner and more durable power supply to bitcoin mining.

Since the birth of Bitcoin, the consumption of electricity to cast bitcoin has been criticized. Criticize the wasteful, and criticize those who are not environmentally friendly. However, from another perspective, this design of Bitcoin may promote the leap-forward progress of human civilization!

In 1964, the Soviet astronomer Nikola Cardashov first proposed the use of energy levels to divide civilization into three grades: type I, type II and type III [5].

Type I civilization uses all available energy in its home planet (eg, Earth), Type II civilization uses all the energy of its planet (eg, the sun), and Type III civilization uses all of its galaxies Energy (for example, the entire Milky Way). It is generally believed that human civilization is now close to but not yet reaching Type I civilization, currently around 0.7-0.8.

Image source: Wikipedia[5]

Perhaps in the near future, in order to better carry out Bitcoin mining, humans will accelerate the pace of research and application of better power generation technology and energy technology, thus greatly accelerating the progress of human civilization!

(End of the article)




[3] superconducting tokamak nuclear fusion experimental device


[5] Index

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