The expansion of Bitcoin mining continues to boom in every corner of the planet, as does the electricity consumption it requires. This was stated in a recent report by the Center for Alternative Finance at Cambridge University.
The increase in consumption, according to the study, makes Bitcoin mining reach 7.56 Gigawatts. To have an idea of the magnitude of this amount, one can say that it is equivalent to the power generated by 7 nuclear plants.
Likewise, the study reveals another important fact in relation to energy consumption. This time, it refers to the price paid by the miners for the service, which is relatively low compared to other businesses.
Bitcoin mining is only possible with high consumption
The power of consumption, and the emission of carbon dioxide, by the Bitcoin mining industry is a much-debated topic. There is a controversy between environmental groups and crypto-currency mining advocates.
Even within the field of digital coins, there is a deep debate among companies. For example, some crypto coins that use the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol claim that their Proof-of-Work (PoW) based counterparts are harmful to the environment.
There are studies that show that Bitcoin mining, as new ASIC models are developed, will be more environmentally friendly. However, this does not eliminate the fact that there is actually a potential for pollution.
Another important aspect to consider is that PoW-based mining, e.g. Bitcoin, does indeed demand a lot of energy. The increasing competition among miners for blocks increases consumption.
Bitcoin mining and environment: an uncomfortable debate?
Efficiency as green hope
On the other hand, it must be taken into account that the Bitcoin mining industry is currently undergoing a full decentralization process. That is, the big farms are leaving China and settling in the West.
This means that the electrical costs of operating are higher. For example, in the United States, the equipment normally used in China is not profitable, due to the high price of energy.
This makes Bitcoin mining companies require more efficient ASICs. In other words, their hash power is increasing and their consumption is decreasing.
Some manufacturing companies like Crypto Investor and MiroBT, have understood this need. Therefore, the new equipment is more efficient. The other companies that design mining machines that have not evolved in efficiency, will quickly fall behind in the sales market.
In the medium term, this search for efficiency will put high consumption equipment out of the game.