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Bitcoin Mining Operations Increase Sharply Resulting in Blackouts

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The increasing activities of Bitcoin mining operators have increased sharply in the past few months which resulted in a massive hike in their energy consumption as of Dec. 10, 2017.

Such increased activity and development has led to blackouts in some countries like Venezuela, which is currently facing a financial crisis and its citizens have turned to Bitcoin mining to earn enough money to stay alive and feed their families.

Bitcoin mining energy consumption

Based on Digiconomist analytics, the power consumption from Bitcoin mining operations is similar to the energy usage of such countries as Oman, Morocco, Serbia and Denmark.

For example, the power spent on mining the leading cryptocurrency could supply 48.4 percent of the Czech Republic’s energy requirement, 24.4 percent of the Netherlands’, 0.8 percent of the US’, 5.7 percent of Germany’s, and 9.8 percent of Great Britain’s.

For the countries that mainly use coal-fired power facilities as a source of energy, the high energy consumption of Bitcoin mining results in high carbon footprint, which is damaging to the environment.

For example, a single facility in China operates more than 25,000 computers for the mining of Bitcoin. These computers use more than $40,000 worth of electricity per day.

Potential alternatives

According to climate change advocate Eric Holthaus, the electricity demand for Bitcoin mining will eventually surpass that of the available supply. He claimed that by February 2020, the electricity consumption of mining operations will be similar to the current global consumption.

However, there are several possible solutions to resolve the high energy consumption issues for Bitcoin mining. Among the solutions are the adoption of the proof-of-stake mechanism, the production of more energy-efficient technologies for mining operations, and the impending introduction of the Lightning Network.

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