The planned economy of communist countries such as China or the former USSR, had an adequate management regarding the protection of the environment. Unlike Western countries, these economies can regulate emissions and set targets precisely. At least that was before the advent of Bitcoin mining, which could be a threat to China’s green goals.
This is revealed by a study of Nature Communications, which warns about the contaminating potential behind the pioneering cryptocurrency. Much has been debated about this topic for years. However, there appear to be important clues that support the aforementioned publication.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts generally defend the mining business on the grounds of the evolutionary potential of equipment. The expansion of mining to various countries around the globe, forces manufacturers to adapt their machines to more demanding conditions of electricity rates. In this way, ASICs are becoming more efficient in relation to energy consumption.
The fact that the goals of a planned economy superpower are threatened by Bitcoin mining is still striking. The low cost of electricity in the Asian giant allows old mining equipment to keep operating.
This works against the argument of the evolution in the efficiency of the equipment. In other words, China is home to more than half of the world’s farms and the vast majority of them operate with high-consumption equipment.
It should be noted that all coins that can be mined with the protocol Proof-Of-Work (PoW) have the same consumer nature as Bitcoin. The study argues that China’s goals of becoming an environmentally friendly nation are being seriously threatened by Bitcoin mining.
In this sense, he explains that, without appropriate intervention to regulate business growth, emissions will reach worrying levels. «The increasing increase in energy consumption, together with the carbon emission from mining, could erode environmental efforts around the world ”, they hold.
China’s plans have a serious rival
The fact that Beijing has set goals that are being threatened by Bitcoin mining, suggests an inevitable clash. Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted last year that by 2030, the country would have controlled carbon dioxide emissions. Likewise, he assured that by 2060, China would be an emissions neutral country.
However, the reality of Bitcoin mining seems to run counter to this view of the Chinese premier. It should be noted that the current energy consumption of this business is 128.84 terawatt-hours per year. This is equivalent to the consumption of countries like Ukraine or Argentina.
For its part, the growth rate of the business leads to an estimate that by 2024, only in China, consumption will be 296.59 terawatt-hours per year. This, in carbon emissions, is equivalent to 130.50 million metric tons, says the aforementioned study. By then, consumption would be equivalent to that of Saudi Arabia or Italy.
A study that “leaves much to be desired”
Although the Nature study appears to have an important foundation, it is greeted with skepticism by some. So, for example, Nic Carter from Castle Island Ventures, considers that it suffers from a series of limitations regarding the data presented. On his Twitter account, he assures that the publication “leaves much to be desired.”
He explains that the study is not able to differentiate the types of energy that are used in Bitcoin mining.
Beyond the rhetoric and debate between environmental and Bitcoin advocates, China is already taking action. In the province of Inner Mongolia, for example, authorities are intensifying their hostile stance towards Bitcoin mining.
Data to take into consideration
- China is the country with the highest percentage of Bitcoin hashrate. Some studies place this number between 50% and 75%.
- The current energy consumption by Bitcoin mining is similar to that of Argentina.
- Proponents of Bitcoin argue that out-of-use and connected appliances in the United States consume more energy than mining.
- The Chinese authorities have very clear goals when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. That is why it is not very difficult to expect a clash with the miners.