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The Controversy Continues: How Does the Bitcoin Mining System Affect Carbon Footprint?



As the debate surrounding the environmental impact of the bitcoin mining ecosystem heats up again, researchers offer some new perspectives on the issue. Noah Smith (Noah Smith), a former assistant professor of finance, is now a columnist. In March, he published an op-ed that took aim at the bitcoin mining industry, arguing that the network's growing energy consumption was unsustainable. He believes that the rise in the price of Bitcoin is always accompanied by an increase in the hash rate. As Bitcoin mining consumes more and more electricity, more countries will ban Bitcoin mining. While Coin Metrics founder Nic Carter countered some of the points made by Smith in his column, there appears to be disagreement over the amount of energy bitcoin mining consumes, where it comes from, and the industry's carbon footprint on the planet. . The bitcoin mining industry tends to downplay how resource-intensive it is, with some in the industry saying bitcoin's environmental impact isn't an issue, with data showing that a significant portion of hash power comes from renewable sources. Still, environmentalists have set their sights on the industry, sparking a seemingly never-ending debate. Many scholars have expressed different views on this issue, for example, the Cambridge Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index (Cambridge Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index) has become a reliable reference point for estimating the power consumption of the Bitcoin network. Controversial language in the crypto industry in the U.S. infrastructure bill passed the Senate unmodified: Golden Finance reported that House Democrats narrowly passed a procedural motion that would allow lawmakers to work on their version of the multi-trillion-dollar bill Work. Democrats agreed to push back until Sept. 27 a deadline to vote on a Senate-passed infrastructure bill that includes strict cryptocurrency regulation. The unamended infrastructure bill contains a provision that would expand the definition of a \"broker\" in the tax code to include \"any person who (for the sake of consideration) is responsible for providing any service on a regular basis to effectuate the transfer of digital assets on behalf of another person.\ "Despite efforts by several U.S. representatives and senators to compromise the bill to exclude software developers and network validators, the bill ultimately passed the Senate without amendments. A Treasury Department official told CNBC in an interview that the tax filing requirement will not be imposed on cryptocurrency entities that cannot provide the required information. (dailyhodl) [2021/8/26 22:39:19] In addition, Aalborg University Ph.D. Susanne Köhler and Associate Professor Massimo Pizzol co-authored a study titled "Life Cycle Assessment of Bitcoin Mining", which provides an insight into the industry's Some assumptions based on the data are given for the environmental impact. The Economist Publishes Controversial Cryptocurrency Project HEX: This week's edition of The Economist has a half-page ad for the controversial crypto project HEX. The advertisement claims that the price of the HEX token increased by 11,500% in 129 days. It is reported that many people in the encryption community believe that HEX is a scam. (Decrypt) [2020/8/3] In an interview, Anton Dek, head of the Cambridge Alternative Financial Crypto Assets Center and Blockchain, unveiled the history of the Cambridge Bitcoin Energy Index, and the A method for estimating Bitcoin's electricity consumption index. Other models looking to accurately estimate the energy usage of the bitcoin network have taken a top-down approach, using data such as miners' spending on electricity as examples, the Cambridge team observed. The Cambridge Bitcoin Energy Index methodology is a "bottom-up approach" that uses data on existing mining hardware to create lower and upper bound estimates of the Bitcoin network's energy consumption. Decker explained that the information is: "Assumptions based on objective data, such as the hash value." He further added: "These different machines have known efficiencies, which are joules of energy required to calculate the hash. Based on these Assume, we have established this index.” Voice | The leak of Li Xiaolai’s internal voice of meeting customers caused controversy in the currency circle: On the evening of July 1, Li Xiaolai’s internal voice of meeting customers was leaked, which spread wildly in the currency community. The whole conversation involved the trend of mainstream currencies such as Ethereum and EOS, as well as the value investment strategy of crossing bulls and bears. Important points are selected as follows: 1. Don't blindly believe in "value investing". If you follow the crowd and think value investing is right, you're a fool* after all. 2. The consensus of stupid* is also a consensus, people who are not stupid* need to accept this reality. Whoever wins wins the world, and retail investors are the toughest. Don't look at you scolding retail investors every day, they are the ones who support you, why are you scolding them. 3. Some projects, such as ETH, are not optimistic, but they have succeeded because of historical reasons. Be optimistic about EOS, it will be more successful. 4. The candy is valuable, and the coins in it are for those who come to find the project. 5. Traffic + technology is the key, no intermediate link, because the blockchain is to remove the intermediary. 6. Those who are not interested in the concept of multi-centralized exchanges, we think that the smaller centers are already decentralized. Diversification is not about eliminating all companies. 7. Connecting bottom-level users is the most powerful community. 8. The old cat was made angry by me. 9. Shuai Chu is an air coin. His deception model is simple. If he is a dapp, let him get out and talk about it when he lands. 10. The founder of the blockchain must be at least an Internet celebrity, and the flow of people is the core competitiveness. 11. NEO is a stupid project, there is nothing at all, it is all played by capital, and Da Hongfei's mobile phone does not have a few coins. 12. There is a liar exchange called Binance, and there is a liar named Justin Sun. 13. Changpeng Zhao has a bad character and has a dark history with Xu Mingxing. He actually doesn't know much about technology. 14. Be sure to open your own exchange. [2018/7/4] The index provides an estimated range of electricity consumption, with a current theoretical lower limit of 43.32 TWh and a theoretical upper limit of 476.18 TWh. Estimates of the current consumption of Bitcoin are based on the assumption that miners use a variety of profitable hardware. The electricity used by American technology company Bitfury for mining in Georgia has caused controversy: According to btcmanager, the American technology company Bitfury has opened a huge encryption mining complex on the outskirts of the Georgian capital Tbilisi. In addition to crypto mining, Bitfury is also working with the country's government to develop blockchain technology solutions. The scale of Bitfury’s mining in Georgia has already caused some controversy over electricity consumption. According to reports, Bitfury’s mining operations consume an average of 28 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. This usage is estimated to be equivalent to the average consumption of 120,000 households in the country. Much of the controversy stems from the fact that, despite the large numbers, the company typically only pays a fraction of its electricity bills. Some opposition politicians believe that Bitfury was allowed to pay lower electricity bills due to the alleged involvement of government officials in the company. Bitfury officials have categorically denied such preferential treatment, saying the company is a victim of bad press. [2018/4/25] While the Cambridge Bitcoin Energy Index does not do any modeling of the energy that drives the Bitcoin network, the original intent of the index was to provide a model of carbon emissions. Dyke said his team is still working on the model and hopes to have it live later this year. He Yi responded to the controversy, claiming that "the abnormal accounts are all foreigners, and the monsters are all Chinese": On the afternoon of the 9th, He Yi, the co-founder of Binance, appeared in the "Blockchain Sleepless Jiangxi Group at 3 o'clock". The suspected "hacker attack" incident responded to the doubts of the group members. He Yi said that there are all kinds of hackers on the Internet, some of whom are interested parties, because Binance did not "list his coins" or because Binance "did not provide a special channel"; The guardians think that the rollback of Binance is against the spirit of the blockchain; there are also some media that rub the heat. He Yi said: "There was nothing wrong with it at first, domestic rumor-mongers, short sellers, self-media who wanted to be popular were coerced together, fishing websites posted advertisements and caught a batch of accounts, tied to the Api and still couldn't withdraw coins, so I planned to send them to A batch of clean accounts of our own have been suspended by us; the abnormal accounts are all foreigners, and the demons are all Chinese, what a farce." [2018/3/9] The Cambridge Bitcoin Energy Index website also provides a global The mining map essentially analyzes the distribution of Bitcoin mining networks around the world. The map provides hash rates by country, with more than half of the world's Bitcoin hash rate located in China. The breakdown of hash rate positions comes from data provided by, Poolin, and ViaBTC mining pools, which account for 37% of Bitcoin’s overall hash rate. Dyke also pointed out that their data is more than a year old, but still allows the researchers to make some accurate assumptions about the energy used by miners in a particular country or region. “This is the data reported by the mining pools, but even if all this were true, we only covered 37% of the total Bitcoin hashrate from the three pools that gave us information. This is where we want to improve. "A regional perspective in China also reveals the energy mix used by miners in different regions. The team has yet to release specific visualizations, as they believe the current hash rate of 37% is insufficient to represent an accurate estimate of the network's full carbon footprint. Decke added: "If we look at the energy mix per region and per country, we can make assumptions about the overall energy mix, and then we can estimate the carbon emission factor more accurately." Still, Decke said, Other researchers have come up with estimates by calculating the total annual electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network, about 130 terawatt-hours, and multiplying that by the average carbon emission factor (about 0.5 kg/CO2 per kilowatt-hour produced). Researchers at the University of Cambridge argue that such an estimate may not be representative given some assumptions that can be drawn from data on the location of parts of the mining activity: “It’s much more complicated than that because I think Bitcoin’s energy mix Not world average. The reason is that they use renewable energy, not because of their goodness, but purely for economic reasons. Hydropower is abundant in some areas, if you look at the Bitcoin mining map and China distribution, the Sichuan area It is still a very important mining area.” Dyke pointed out that there are widespread reports that there are mining facilities in Sichuan that use hydroelectric power to generate electricity. Data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Energy Energy Index also reflects an increase in hash rate during the wet season in the region, where excessive rainfall leads to large amounts of electricity being generated by dams. According to him, Sichuan’s share of global hash power is estimated: “9.66% in April 2020 and 37% in September 2019.” Köhler and Pizzol’s 2019 “Bitcoin Mining Life Cycle Assessment” study The environmental impact of Bitcoin was assessed using a well-established life cycle assessment methodology. It is estimated that the Bitcoin network consumed 31.29 TWh in 2018, with a carbon footprint of 17.29 tonnes of CO2e, and the research report uses data, information and methodologies drawn from previous research on the topic. In a conversation, Köhler pointed out that their research shows that the impact of newly adding Bitcoin mining network capacity is reduced based on two assumptions. The first was that the equipment became more efficient, which proved to be true two years later. The second assumption is that miners move to regions with more renewable energy. "Assumptions in our study were influenced by rumors that China would crack down on miners. Recent data on mining sites suggests that this is not the case. Nonetheless, the effect of improving the energy efficiency of hardware means that for every additional energy mined The impact would be reduced. However, we are now seeing hash rate growth at a much faster rate, in absolute terms, resulting in a greater overall environmental impact.” As Köhler explained, the Bitcoin network’s hash rate The pure growth results in higher electricity usage and, therefore, a greater impact on the environment. However, the Aalborg University PhD admits that accurately estimating the energy consumption of the bitcoin mining ecosystem and its carbon footprint is a daunting task. This is due to several factors, including the exact location and share of miners, the mining equipment used, and the accuracy of data from various sources. Dyke also said that some miners are looking for ways to prove that they use green energy to mine bitcoin. This could create a market for "green bitcoins" that are sold at a premium, which could prompt miners to switch to green energy. At the same time, Köhler believes that miners are mainly concerned with profit margins, and if green energy is not so cheap, then cheap electricity will overwhelm the attractiveness of green energy: "There are some incentives to use renewable energy, such as Sichuan The hydroelectric power that miners have access to cheap electricity. However, it should be noted that this electricity is seasonal, so availability varies throughout the year. In general, mining companies encourage the use of cheap electricity to maximize Profits. This also includes using coal from Inner Mongolia to generate electricity and oil from Iran to generate electricity.” Dyke echoed that sentiment, saying that miners are generally rational about their business decisions. If cheaper energy is available, they will probably use it, no matter how the energy is created." I find that miners, especially large bitcoin miners, are rational economic actors. If there is a cheaper option, they will change , and if not, they will remain as they are.” Köhler aptly concludes that more data from industry insiders is likely to provide an answer to this years-long debate: “Better data and a more transparent mining industry will allow better models and less guesswork". Decker agrees that more data and tools are needed to reach a consensus on the assessment of Bitcoin's environmental impact, and he strongly reminds people that the Bitcoin protocol is designed for a reason: "Bitcoin must be designed to be Inefficient. If it was very effective, then the cost of attacking the network would be very low.


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