The apparent power consumption is a feature of the bitcoin model, not a flaw, according to a crypto miner who advocates for power consumption activity.
Zach Bradford, CEO of Publicly Traded Bitcoin Miner CleanSpark, fought In the controversy sparked by Ethereum Merge, is the shift from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, which could see a significant reduction in the power consumed by the competing crypto network.
“Proof of work, and the power it uses, is an advantage rather than a disadvantage. There is no CEO for Bitcoin, it is completely decentralized and Proof of Work is the only good way to truly secure the blockchain without a supervisor. It has value because Bitcoin is used all over the world as a currency without someone changing the mechanism “.
While energy consumption is key for Bitcoin, Bradford argued, carbon emissions from power generation are not an issue for ClearSpark as crypto miners use 90% carbon-free energy. And nuclear power made up a big part of that, he said.
Bradford also asserts that while there are power shortages globally, his company’s consumption was justified by the fact that ClearSpark’s facilities are located in “grid edge areas” where there is excess electricity, such as the US state of Georgia.
All of this seems reasonable enough to have a bad struggle with the evidence. Claims that Bitcoin, and the blockchain it depends on, is completely decentralized has been called into question by a report commissioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The report, published in June, found that the low-level protocols – or cryptographic fundamentals – that underpin the security of distributed ledger technology were sound, but implementation decisions mean the persistence claim is open to question. “We have shown that a subset of participants can gain excessive central control over the entire system,” the researchers said.
The study notes that Bitcoin traffic is unencrypted, which means that any third party on the network path between nodes, including Internet service providers, Wi-Fi access point operators, or governments can monitor and drop any messages they wish. “Of all Bitcoin traffic, only 60 percent of three ISPs pass through.”
Although ClearSpark may feel out of control in terms of carbon emissions, it is hardly reassuring when one considers the scale of the environmental impact of bitcoin mining versus the meager contribution it makes to global financial transactions.
In September, a study by researchers at the University of New Mexico found that in 2020 bitcoin mining used 75.4 TWh per year (TWhyear-1) – higher energy use than Austria (69.9 TWh-1) or Portugal (48.4 TWh-1).
The team also found that the energy emissions of bitcoin mining had grown 126 times from 0.9 tons of emissions per coin in 2016 to 113 tons per coin in 2021. Bitcoin mined in 2021 caused $11,314 in climate damage, with a total of $11,314 in total. Global damages of over $12 billion or 25% of market prices. The damage peaked at 156 percent of the coin’s price in May 2020, with every dollar of Bitcoin’s market value causing $1.56 in global climate damage. The relative damage was slightly greater than that of beef production (at 33 percent) and more than that of gold mining (at 4 percent).
Alex de Vries, founder of the Digiconomist, notes that Bitcoin handles 100 million transactions annually. “This is negligible when you look at the normal world of finance. Conventional financial institutions are responsible for handling more than 700 billion digital payments every year and that’s still growing.”
Bradford argues that bitcoin has not been as subject to the whims of central banking policy as traditional currency. Only 21 million will ever be made, as central banks tend to print money when it suits economic conditions. Bitcoin is set to hit its ceiling in the year 2140, a moment ClearSpark hasn’t yet planned, Bradford said.
“We will all be in the Metaverse Zone [by then]Bloomberg Television host Katie Greifield said.
“…and everyone out there will be using bitcoin,” he joined Bradford again, explaining that if nothing else the media and tech industries could engage in circular groupthink while the planet they depend on 70 percent of its wildlife has been lost since 1970. ®
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