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Bitcoins are about as environmentally friendly today as oil extraction

An independent virtual cryptographer, which was supposed to push for transparency of transactions and globally change the look of ownership, is decimating the environment today. Bitcoins mining and concatenating the history of their payments to process data requires a huge amount of energy that does not come from the purest sources.

Bitcoin's invention overwhelmed the history of finance and the currency system. A decentralized shift operation mechanism ensures freedom for its users and allows no third party to enter, censor, or influence any of these operations. Banking houses, financial advisers, or tax offices, theoretically, come up with a reason to exist. Bitcoin has created a global apolitical currency that covers and preserves the value of goods without being covered by gold or subjected to targeted interventions. In other words, it is an idea for millions. Unfortunately, nowadays, its operating limits are being hit.

How to get Bitcoins? In addition to the store, you can get them "mining", in which you spend time / performance on your computer to connect to the network and confirm a series of transactions that are already in progress. And the more Bitcoins are consumed, the more difficult it is to retrieve them. There are only a limited number of them. Imaginary coins will no longer be in the virtual account today for tens of minutes, but mostly after long hours requiring the operation of the entire dedicated computer center. From the original play of the independent currency, the environmental burden is becoming increasingly popular with increasing popularity. Powerful computers and data centers consume enormous amounts of energy.

The Ecologist , who pointed out the shadowy pages of the light cryptographer, noticed that. According to him, Bitcoins' virtual virtual business today is not as unlikely as the real heavy industry. How come when "only" uses computers? Bitcoin mining is a bit like a lottery where the computer program "tries to guess" the right code. He can get any number from zero to 2,147,483,648. There is quite a lot of possibility in the game, and the reward is the gain of the crypt. The state-of-the-art mining machine is doing its utmost to guess code of 14 trillion attempts per second. Which is a lot of energy.

Energy can take many forms, but if we talk about oil, the equivalent of Bitcoin's yearly production is about 13.5 million barrels. And that's no ecologically clean business. It would be nice if the electricity used for the mining and the Bitcoine transactions were to be drawn from renewable sources. But more than 85% of the crypt mining is now under China, where electricity is relatively inexpensive. Because it does not come from the most efficient renewable sources. Computers in mining data centers are powered by lignite-fired electricity.

Today, all bituminous operations use 0.13% of all electricity produced on Earth for the whole year. That is, some 28.8 TWh. Just for the sake, with the same amount of electricity you could supply all year round Slovakia (annual consumption 27.9 TWh), Ireland (27 TWh) or a quarter of the 25 million households in the UK. As the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index states, one single bit-tonne transaction today requires an average of 293 kWh. This is because the chain of payments is concatenated with the whole story.

At present, when the market value of one Bitcoin exceeded $ 9,000, their virtual mining became more profitable than real gold. And conglomerates using advanced computer technology and power sharing to exploit themselves today are as unevenly envied as the gold diggers in the Brazilian forests.

How did Bitcoin help the environment?

On the ScienceMag journal pages this May, they tried to explain simply: Environmental problems are the result of a loss of confidence. For example, when you buy a fish in a supermarket, the entire process chain from the fisherman to you is very long. The supermarket operator does not need to know where the fish comes from. There are a number of deficiencies throughout the chain that allow illegal or unsolicited fishmeat to penetrate the market to the consumer.

With Bitcoin, this scenario will not occur: you see the full chain of payments at every moment, every step of the deal that can not be falsified. In addition, such a chain completely changes the way of ownership. In many developing countries, for example, the concept of land ownership is not clearly defined, and one can claim land that does not belong to it. However, if the land fund is managed in an equally chained system, it is not possible for the property rights of one party to disappear by some opaque manipulation. Bitcoin's environment can bring order and transparency to vote and vote, or create a variety of motivational incentives, such as protecting biodiversity.

Author: Radomír Dohnal

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