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A Clash of Scientists over Mining Impact on Global Warming



As we all know that bitcoin may single handedly be responsible for pushing the rate of global warming beyond 2 degrees Celsius and it will lead to ruin the environment for future generations.

On Monday, the Telegraph warned in an article that “Bitcoin may cause catastrophic climate change by 2033.” CNET also wrote that ‘Bitcoin is actually going to ruin the whole world” while the Israeli newspaper Haaretz also warned about it by explaining that “(…) Bitcoin is making the world dangerously hotter and dangerously fast.”

Many of the articles show such kind of headlines but the following are those that were published yesterday and also follow a new research report by an interdisciplinary group of scientists from the University of Hawai, published in an international journal of science, in Nature. A report also shows that bitcoin “could alone produce enough CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions to push the warming above 2 degree Celsius within less than three decades.” But at the same time, many authors acknowledge the thing that bitcoin mining is becoming more energy efficient.

Meanwhile, many of the other experts and scientist who spoke with the ThinkProgess describe the study’s assumptions and conclusions such as dangerous, misleading, and neckless.

Concerns dismissed by other researchers

According to the head of the Energy and Resource Systems Analysis Lab, Eric Masanet mechanical engineering professor at Northwestern University state that the conclusions in the study can be bedunked by pointing to three flaws:

At first, he said, “we know that the global power sector is decarbonizing.” After that, secondly, the IT sector include the mining of the cryptocurrencies is becoming more and more energy efficient. At last, he further said that the authors behind the study are “insisting on tremendous growth in the crypto currency adoption and which will result in inflated and dubious estimates of future carbon emissions.”

Arman Shehabi of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and a Department of Energy Office of Science Lab managed by the University of California and focus that the study was on the wrong track on an unlikely scenario where “the electricity demand of bitcoin transactions and the carbon emission from that electricity demand both remain static over the next hundred years, while at the same time bitcoin immediately undergoes rapid adoption.”

Further, he told ThinkProgress that it is “absurd” and tough to believe that the energy consumption in each of the individual bitcoin transaction will remain constant for next several years and also explains that “that is a crazy assumption in the general, but downright bananas for blockchain mining.”

Come back in August, Katrine Kelly-Pitou, the Research Associate in the Computer and Electrical Engineering at the university of Pittsburgh also said that the worries about the energy usage of bitcoin are exaggerated. One of the most important factors in this thing is that how much energy bitcoin consume and what the energy sources are used to advocate for the mining purpose.

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