Cryptocurrency mining led to an increased demand for graphics cards and processors in recent years, which has led to a dramatic increase in energy consumption by those hardware devices. But what if we took the same power being used to mine crypto and used it for something good? Something that could help save the planet? While at first glance this may seem like an outlandish idea, there are many ways crypto-mining can help create a greener future. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities below.
Why is Crypto-Mining Considered Green?
It might be surprising to hear, but Bitcoin is actually an environmentally friendly way to move money. The miners that run computers to authenticate cryptocurrency transactions are rewarded with small sums of currency—and they use massive amounts of electricity in the process. According to Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, , in April 16th, 2018, Bitcoin miners were using approximately 32 terawatt hours (TWh) per year.
The entire energy consumption of the Bitcoin (BTC) network saw a substantial fall following a two-week decline in the mining hash rate, which decreased the needed computational power for mining BTC blocks to 199.225 exahashes per second (EH/s). According to estimates from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, the Bitcoin network used 10.65 gigawatts of power at its lowest point in 2022. (GW). At its height, the BTC network consumed 16.09 GW of power.
Is It Worth It?
Mining crypto on your CPU presents a massive opportunity for mass adoption of crypto. As Bitcoin mining is now on an industrial scale, while Ethereum moves to Proof of Stake, the plight of CPU-mined cryptocurrencies such as $WHIVE offers a positive value proposition, particularly in the case of growth of sustainable energy.For those who want to mine cryptocurrencies and have limited knowledge of computer hardware and software, CPU mining is an ideal solution.
Where Will This Power Come From?
Crypto mining requires an incredible amount of power, especially considering that cryptocurrency algorithms are meant to become more difficult over time, making them less profitable to mine.The declining hash rate of Bitcoin in the last 3 weeks is to blame for the abrupt drop in Bitcoin’s power consumption. The amount of processing power needed by BTC miners to effectively mine a block is measured by the mining hash rate, which is a crucial security parameter. On June 13, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty hit an all-time high of 231.428 EH/s. Thereafter, the difficulty decreased by more than 13.9 per cent over two weeks.
Solar energy is a good candidate for crypto power. In regions with a higher Solar Reliability Index, the potential for mining crypto with solar is enormous and could power the next iteration of green “cryptos” such as $WHIVE, which is incentivizing the use of renewables through trustless rewards.
When Will We See Miners Move to Greener Sources?
Per the Cambridge University Center for Alternative Finance, bitcoin mining alone uses 136 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity annually. That is roughly equivalent to the electricity used in Sweden, Argentina, or the United Arab Emirates. However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the energy consumption of data centers used for other purposes is between 200 and 250 TWh. . Crypto miners started shifting their hardware to use clean energy sources like solar and wind, and this could unearth major benefits for both cryptocurrency and our planet’s climate.
The New York Times reported in September 2021 that estimates of the percentage of Bitcoin mining that is powered by renewables range from 40 to 75 percent. A report by cryptocurrency asset management company CoinShares, as of December 2021, indicates that nuclear power provided 11% of the total energy used by the Bitcoin network, while natural gas provided another 24%. Renewable energy sources contributed less than 30% of this total.
What Can You Do Today to Go Green With Your Mining Efforts?
It’s true that crypto-mining can use eco-friendly resouces. The computations used to mine cryptocurrency require an enormous amount of power, with most miners using specialized equipment designed to do one thing: mine coins as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, it may not be possible to completely eliminate your mining efforts, but you can still make them more environmentally friendly. Solar energy is a great substitute.
The Future of Mining…the Road Ahead
By getting energy from renewable sources and utilizing excess renewable energy resources, cryptocurrency mining may offer a chance to hasten the world’s transition to renewable energy.
Although cryptocurrency miners are incredibly resilient, there are very few other professions where one would need to uproot and relocate just to keep the lights on. The miners undoubtedly persist. Given that the block subsidy is cut in half every four years, it is astonishing that 2021 saw the biggest miner revenues to date. More money was made by Bitcoin miners in 2017 than in the preceding three years put together, at $16.7 billion. The $19 billion Ethereum mining business will inevitably evaporate as a result of the Merge, forcing miners to repurpose their GPUs to mine other PoW altcoins, much like the large migration of miners based in China that occurred in 2020 as a result of China’s crackdown on PoW mining. Fears of being forced to cling onto useless rigs after the Merge have caused GPU prices to drop by over 50% as of this writing and to flood the market.
Undoubtedly, whatever transpires, it’s likely that in the months to come, mining and cryptocurrencies will be at the forefront of discussions about access to self-sovereign cryptocurrency in society and politics, as well as the great energy debate. This discussion will continue to be openly and effectively led by the industry. Although cryptocurrency miners are incredibly resilient, there are very few other professions where one would need to uproot and relocate just to keep the lights on. The miners indubitably dig on, indeed.