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Bitcoin [BTC] mining uses additional electricity that would otherwise go to waste, reveals research

Anirudh VK

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Bitcoin [BTC] mining uses additional electricity that would otherwise go to waste, reveals research
Source: Unsplash

One of the biggest arguments levied against Bitcoin [BTC] is that its mining process consumes a lot of energy for something that a lot of individuals say has no value. Maintaining the network took 4.7 GigaWatts of power, which naysayers say consumes more electricity than close to 160 individual countries.

However, research has emerged that shows that Bitcoin mining might not be so bad for the world after all. A study conducted by Coinshares shows that while miners are currently running at a loss, the process may be consuming excess electricity that is taken off the grid and wasted otherwise.

This effectively means that the Bitcoin network is siphoning off existing electricity networks and making use of all the electricity that would otherwise be grounded and waster. This provides a very different perspective than those pushed by the detrimental elements of Bitcoin’s power consumption.

The researchers also state that the network acts as an “electricity buyer of last resort”, as the network not consuming electricity will result in the curtailment of the supply. Curtailment refers to the consequences of over-generation of electricity from renewable sources. Electricity, which is produced, is rejected by the grid for fear of overloading and risk of a grid shutdown.

The paper stated:



“If demand for Bitcoin mining keeps increasing, its demand alone could facilitate opportunities for tapping highly productive renewables locations in areas that today would be uneconomically remote.”

Researchers illustrated this example by speaking about the Sichuan region in China, which is where most of the mining of Bitcoin takes place today. The location is chosen by miners due to its low electricity costs, owing to renewable resources, and cool climate, which reduces the cooling costs of the ASICs.

Moreover, they have also discovered that Bitcoin mining farms have a higher possibility to appear in geographical areas with a high renewable energy penetration. They went on to say:

“Based on historical data on energy mix and locations of cryptocurrency mining operations in China, we have shown that contrary to the common narrative, the vast majority of global Bitcoin mining capacity (minimum 77.6%) is running on renewable energy.”





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Anirudh VK is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has a passion for writing and interest towards the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He does not own any cryptocurrencies currently.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin [BTC] will be vulnerable to quantum computing if we’re not prepared, says Andrew Poelstra

Biraajmaan Tamuly

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Bitcoin will be vulnerable to Quantum Computing without preparation, indicates Blockstream Researcher
Source: Pixabay

Security is an important aspect of every crypto-asset and Bitcoin [BTC] is often dragged into debates on whether the blockchain is protected from hacks or vulnerable to certain technological developments.

In a recent episode of whatbitcoindid, Andrew Poelstra, the Lead Researcher at Blockstream, was asked about whether Quantum Computing was a genuine threat to the existence of some Bitcoin on the current blockchain.

Poelstra indicated that the threat was evident, but it was still a long way off from being practical in the current technological field. He mentioned that he expected quantum computing to come into play against the security of Bitcoin in “maybe less than 15 years” and said that he would be really surprised if “it was less than 25 years”.

Poelstra said that it was necessary to take actions in the current scenario for post-quantum systems because he believed that without any preparation for the impending technological aspect, it did not matter how the future rested. Without preparation, the community was going to be blindsided, he said.

He stated,



“It’s important now that we started working on standardization and exploring ideas and exploring what Bitcoin is going to look like in a post quantum world but in the current scenarios there were no candidates for post quantum schemes that would be reasonable to deploy them in a Bitcoin.”

The introduction of quantum computing in the cryptocurrency scenario was a topic which was widely debated among other personalities in the community as well. Mati Greenspan, a prominent eToro Analyst, had started earlier this year that the threat only existed to Bitcoin if quantum computing was available to only one person.

If people or users collectively upgraded to quantum computers, then the Bitcoin miners would upgrade among themselves to protect it from an alleged 99% attack, which is possible with a quantum computer.





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