The impact of mining bitcoins on the environment has raised concerns again as a suitability based think tank in Australia pointed out that the mining alone can consume up to 60% global annual production of electricity.
Long Future Foundation calculated this estimate on the suppositions that 1 BTC is valued at £1 Million and to mine this resource, $500,000 and 3600 Bitcoins will have to be mined every day. The miners can get the power required for mining at $0.05 per kWh, that is, they will be able to 20 kWh for every dollar spent. As per the elaborate calculations, Bitcoin mining will consume 13,140 TWh ever year which is required to power 1.5Bn homes.
What the scientists have to say
Guy Lane, environmental Scientist, points out that even though the currency is virtual, its impacts are very real on social, economic and environmental aspects. They can have a debilitating impact on the global resources if the currency is managed irresponsibly. Bitcoin currency may be effectual but its growth process is highly flawed because of high energy consumption.
The debate resurfaces
The mining community has been contesting the findings of the Think Tank. However, Sam Cole, Founder KnCMiner AB pointed out that the argument is not a valid one as the number of coins that make into the network are halved within first four years. However, Lane countered this argument by saying that the Think Tank’s findings are based on the scientific theory and $1M bitcoin scenario is just one of the many. However, if ever Bitcoin replaces the gold or dollar, this situation can even aggravate.
The Worst Case Scenario
Dave Hudson, author of HashingIt Blog said that principally the argument is correct but the Think Tank has exaggerated the outcome for the ripple effect. Lane, however, offered his rebuttal that this assumption is not as extreme as it seems. This simple technology that just came a decade back is already on its way to threaten the global energy supply.
Hudson, however, agreed to one point that the huge profit margins will convince more and more people to mine the currency than trade it through exchange or buy from individuals. This could pose as a threat to the energy consumption, as rightly anticipated. Hudson did make a sound point that when we reach at this level, the mining would be controlled by single large entities and they would be accountable for their actions.