Environmentalists have repeatedly taken aim at the crypto mining industry, making bold claims such as Bitcoin mining alone consumes more power than several countries. While this is true, you have to put it into perspective. When you compare the power used by crypto miners to run a financial and technological ecosystem, the mining process uses a significant amount less electricity than the current financial industry alone. On top of this, most miners are using clean, green, and renewable energy in the form of hydroelectric power. Despite this, environmentalists are on a crusade to dirty the cryptocurrency industry and continually attack it.
With the holiday season picking up, more people are decorating their homes – both inside and out – and local governments are decorating the streets. It’s estimated that in the US alone, Christmas lights consume more power than the global Bitcoin mining industry, yet the same environmentalists say nothing.
Statistics Speak for Themselves
A study conducted by the Centre for Global Development (CGD) back in 2015 showed that Christmas lights in the US alone consumed 6.63 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. That was back in 2015, imagine the amount of new homes that will have added to that insane consumption. This power is simply thrown away to light up houses, gardens, and trees for a handful of weeks. If these lights were to run all year, imagine the ridiculous amount of electricity they would consume – take that environmentalists.
The PoW Problem
When Satoshi Nakamoto first launched his Bitcoin white paper back in 2008, it outlined a method to prevent people gaming the network for personal rewards in the form of a Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm. Through PoW, miners submit thousands of hashes to prove that they have spent a certain amount of computational power in order to try and create the next cryptographic hash for the Bitcoin network. However, this is highly power hungry and therefore isn’t environmentally friendly.
Without changing the consensus algorithm, Bitcoin – and all other PoW blockchains for that matter – will never be environmentally friendly. The only way to solve this issue is with a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Instead of miners creating hashes and expending huge amounts of power to be the first to create the required hash, nodes stake an amount of native tokens to become the block validator and receive the validation reward. This in turn requires a significantly reduced amount of power, but it too has its own problems – something we will go into in depth through a future article.
Miners Looking Out for the Planet
Don’t panic, crypto miners aren’t actively trying to destroy the planet and speed up global warming. Miners are looking for green and renewable energy sources to power their mining operations.Crypto mining firms have been flocking to Washington State thanks to its abundance of hydroelectric power and the trend is still continuing, as Bitmain – the largest miner of Bitcoin – recently announced that it’s opening a data center there. Hydroelectric power is both better for the planet and cheaper for crypto miners to use. This means that the cost to mine Bitcoin is lower, and therefore more profits to gain, so miners have a huge incentive to use clean and green power.
Environmentally Responsible Mining is a Priority
One of the most environmentally conscious crypto mining firms is dedicating its power search to only green and renewable energy sources. Argo mining – the first crypto mining firm to be listed on the London Stock Exchange – will only use renewable energy in the form of hydroelectric power. Despite the fact that the Permian Basin in Texas offering a wealth of ultra-low-cost power, Argo is committed to its renewable energy commitment. Highlighting this pledge, in an exclusive interview with BitStarz News, Mike Edwards – Argo Mining President – said,
our brand promise is green, renewable energy and we think there are some more interesting alternative to natural gas at the moment which we are exploring first.
If compared over a yearly period, Christmas lights consume much more power than Bitcoin mining. While we aren’t saying ban Christmas lights, it would be nice if environmentalists saw the global warming crisis from all sides rather than just labeling Bitcoin as evil. As more mining firms try to do the responsible thing, local residents of hydroelectric rich towns are actively forcing out crypto mining firms – perhaps the environmentalists should back the miners and help the industry push back.