Scientists at the Technical University of Munich urge regulators to go beyond Bitcoin when it comes to the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining.
According to the scientific journal Joule on August 4, researchers Ulrich Gallersdörfer, Lena Klaaßen and Christian Stoll found that Bitcoin (BTC) mining only accounts for 66% of total electricity use by the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
“Based on the underlying algorithms, the current hash rate, and the corresponding mining equipment, we find that Bitcoin accounts for 2/3 of the total energy consumption, and unexplored cryptocurrencies for the remaining 1/3. Consequently, unexplored currencies add almost 50% to Bitcoin’s energy hunger, which by itself can cause significant environmental damage. “
The study determined altcoins’ energy consumption by analyzing their hash rates and mining equipment. Blockchains included Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Zcash (ZEC), DogeCoin (DOGE), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Decred (DCR), RavenCoin (RVN), MonaCoin (MONA), Bytom (BTM), SiaCoin (SC), DigiByte (DGB), Horizen (ZEN), Komodo (KMD) and Bytecoin (BCN) .
Does mining cryptocurrency destroy the planet?
The research team emphasized that while the energy demand of the cryptocurrency industry is a concern for environmentalists, much research focuses solely on Bitcoin and not all cryptocurrencies.
“Energy consumption in itself is not a problem in the context of climate change. Increasing the number of operating hours with full load on some production resources can lead to a fuel swap effect and a change in local emission intensity, thereby worsening the environmental impact. ‘
– wrote in the magazine.
Hal Finney, already in 2009, even before the creation of altcoins, noticed that mining can affect the environment due to its energy needs. According to Digiconomist, as of today, the total energy consumption of the Bitcoin mining network is around 63.5 terawatt hours – more than the energy consumption of several developed countries, including Switzerland.
If you are interested in the subject of cryptocurrency mining, please read our article: Facts and myths: Solo mining vs mining pool