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Friday, March 31, 2023

The US Now Leads The World In Bitcoin Mining

According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), China’s contribution in worldwide Bitcoin mining has virtually dropped to zero.

China enforced mining restrictions and instructed banks to halt assisting transactions in June.

China accounted for nearly three-quarters of all Bitcoin mining at its peak in September 2019.

According to CBECI, China’s crackdown originally resulted in a 38 percent drop in worldwide mining.

However, in July and August, there was a 20% “bounceback,” “suggesting that some Chinese mining equipment has been effectively redeployed overseas,” according to experts.

China has now made all Bitcoin transactions illegal, however this happened after the Cambridge study’s time period.

Miners make money by producing new Bitcoins, but the computer power required to do so is extremely energy intensive.

They examine Bitcoin transactions in exchange for the chance to buy the digital money.

World mining necessitates a tremendous amount of computer power, which consumes a tremendous amount of electricity and, as a result, contributes considerably to global emissions.

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s CBECI monitors the geographic distribution of computer power utilized for Bitcoin mining, using data from several commercial Bitcoin mining pools.

According to the most recent data, the majority of Bitcoin mining (35.4 percent) is currently situated in the United States, with Kazakhstan (18.1 percent) coming in second and Russia (11 percent) coming in third.

The Future Of Renewable Mining

Earlier CBECI study indicated an annual movement of Chinese miners, who moved from provinces with inexpensive electricity to places with plentiful hydro-electric power during the rainy season.

Miners will have to search for alternative sources of inexpensive power now that the embargo has been lifted.

Significant quantities of mining in the United States are concentrated in places like Washington State, where hydropower provides low-cost electricity.

However, as reported by several news sites, some Chinese miners have also relocated to Texas’ deregulated power grid because of the low electricity costs.

Kazakhstan’s expansion as a mining powerhouse will come at a cost to the environment.

According to the US Department of Commerce, “fossil fuels” account for 87 percent of Kazakhstan’s electrical generation, with coal accounting for more than 70 percent.

E-Waste Still A Pressing Issue

According to the BBC, the changes in where Bitcoin is mined are “poor news for CO2 emissions overall,” according to Alex de Vries, who runs the Digiconomist blog.

However, his estimates are based on data that indicate how much pollution each kilowatt hour of energy generates in a nation on average, which is a huge simplification.

Bitcoin’s environmental impact, on the other hand, is not confined to greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a new research co-authored by Alex de Vries, Bitcoin mining generates hundreds of tonnes of electronic trash due to the quick obsolescence of the machines utilized.

Mr De Vries believes that moving mining location would have little impact, but adds that “Kazakhstan has no national regulation on e-waste, therefore the management of it is even worse than many other nations.”

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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