Bitcoin: more energy consumption than that of a country

Bitcoin

The cryptojacking is a form of cybercrime to mine cryptocurrencies, hijacks the processing power of its victims’ devices to produce cryptocurrencies. A suspicious download or a small-time web page can be the contagion vectors for software that uses legitimate Windows process names to slip through the cracks and occupy CPU performance for cryptocurrency mining tasks. But the derivations that this problem presents and how it affects the Crypto business expose situations of unusual scale.

If Bitcoin were a country, it would use more electricity than Argentina, which is ranked 31st in terawatt-hour consumption. Bitcoin would be in 30th place. But also if it were adopted as a global reserve currency, it would be necessary to double the world’s energy production just to sustain it.

That is why many economists agree on the inefficiency of Bitcoin as an instrument to carry out transactions, given the staggering amount of electrical energy it consumes. About two-thirds of this comes from fossil fuels, according to the University of Cambridge. For this reason, it is experimented with alternatives that are more ecological and cheaper. The United States evaluates nuclear power plants. In El Salvador they are taking advantage of geothermal energy from volcanoes.

In the middle of this year, the Ukrainian police revealed the discovery of a huge cryptocurrency mining farm that used 5,000 computers, including 3,800 PlayStation 4s and a lot of stolen electricity. The altered electricity meters, which did not record actual energy consumption, allowed to evade payments of $ 200,000 on average per month. In addition, the activity was so demanding that it caused peaks in energy consumption and the possibility of leaving other users without electricity.

Last May, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin until it was generated with clean energy. Later China, which concentrates the largest number of mining centers on the planet, regulated energy consumption on farms, prompting many ‘miners’ to settle elsewhere. The enormous computing power and energy use is built into the way the blockchain technology that underpins the cryptocurrency was designed.

It would never have occurred to us to be able to make money with video games. However, there is already a new augmented reality game, in which it is possible to win small amounts of Bitcoin by “playing”. Everything indicates that we will participate in the business in minimal portions in exchange for the wear and tear of our graphics card, the processor and the cost of electricity.

The higher the price of the crypto, the more miners will want to get into the game, therefore there will be an increase in power consumption. Also, the software demands that it only take 10 minutes to solve a puzzle, so if the number of miners increases, the game becomes more difficult and more processing power is needed, therefore, Bitcoin is designed to encourage greater computing endeavor.

The more computers compete the blockchain becomes more robust, because anyone who wants to try to affect or hack the currency must control and operate at least as much computing power as the rest of the miners put together.

This means that, As Bitcoin becomes more valuable, the computing effort invested in creating and maintaining it, the energy consumed, inevitably increases. To make a Bitcoin the miners are doing 160 quintillion calculations per second, but the millions and millions that are needed to keep the system running are not really doing any useful work, they are calculations that do not serve any other purpose, they are erased in when this process ends and the cycle begins again, using a large amount of energy to produce them.

The cost of electrical energy could make this activity unviable, even more complex if we focus on the ecological issue and global warming.

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Bitcoin: more energy consumption than that of a country

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