Bitcoin mining accounts for almost 1% of the world’s power consumption
Bitcoin mining’s power consumption rate has been increasing continuously over the past year. As of now, it accounts for almost 1% of the total energy consumption of the entire world.
Bitcoin mining has become increasingly popular in the recent days, as it gives crypto enthusiasts a chance to earn Bitcoins as a reward. But this is easier said than done. The process of Bitcoin mining involves verifying a set of transactions that belong to a particular block on a blockchain. It requires the miner to solve complicated mathematical puzzles to get a solution that corresponds to the hash rate of the transaction. Currently, the bounty for adding a block to the blockchain is 12.5 Bitcoins.
But, solving the mathematical puzzles is not an easy task, and has to be done by machines. Many such machines have been introduced which are solely dedicated towards Bitcoin mining, and they require a lot of energy for functioning. Also, they produce a lot of heat, which calls for efficient heat dissipation techniques as well.
The energy consumed by Bitcoin miners all over the world is said to have doubled since May! Hence, many Bitcoin mining companies are trying their best to come up with techniques to reduce the power consumption. Arvind Narayanan, a scientist from Princeton, says,
“No matter what you do to make cryptocurrency mining hardware greener, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the overall network’s flabbergasting energy consumption. The only thing that really determines how much energy Bitcoin uses is its price.”
Elaborating on his last statement, he adds,
“If the price of a cryptocurrency goes up, more energy will be used in mining it; if it goes down, less energy will be used. Little else matters. In particular, the increasing energy efficiency of mining hardware has essentially no impact on energy consumption.”
Though the bear markets have hit cryptocurrency bad, the craze that the crypto community has in it doesn’t seem to reduce at all. In fact, the numbers of crypto miners is said to have increased by 122% since the beginning of this year. This has increased the competition to be the fast solver of the block by several folds, which in turn has also increased the usage of power. At the moment, the only probable way to reduce the power consumption of mining activities is by replacing the ‘Proof of Work’ system by the ‘Proof of Stake’ system.
Image via Shutterstock
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