The director generals at the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency call for EU-ban on proof-of-work mining, as it threatens to negate transition efforts made by the region to cleaner energy.
Cambridge University and Digiconomist estimate that an electric car would be able to travel 1.8 million miles with the energy expended to mine one bitcoin, and that 120 million tonnes of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere every year to mine 900 bitcoins every day. They also estimate that Bitcoin and Ethereum use about twice as much electricity in one year as the whole of Sweden. It should be noted that Digiconomist is critical of cryptocurrencies’ inefficiencies. An interesting counterpoint to the claims made by Digiconomist is the claim made by Ark Investment Management that bitcoin uses less than ten percent of the global energy used by the traditional banking sector.
Bitcoin mining at odds with region’s green push
Miners have flocked to Nordic regions due to the low-energy prices, low taxation, and good access to renewable energy. The comments made by the director generals seem to be particularly concerned with the EU setting the standard for compliance with the terms of the Paris Agreement. Concerns regarding the social utility of bitcoin mining were made by environmentalists protesting against the Greenidge facility in New York, and are now made again by the director generals, who feel that mining threatens the climate transition that needs to happen urgently. Jeff Kirt, the CEO of operations, said in the first half of 2021 that the plant’s environmental footprint was never better, despite the electricity consumed by 8000 computers at the facility.
Swedish authorities call on EU to ban POW
The Swedish authorities call on the EU to ban proof-of work mining, while they call for Sweden to put in place measures to stop crypto mining production, and measures to stop companies who trade and invest in crypto assets marketing themselves as sustainable. In a comment made to the Financial Times, Professor Brian Lucey from Trinity College, Dublin, called bitcoin a “dirty currency.” To combat this, a company called Argo Blockchain Solutions has partnered with DMG Blockchain to create the first bitcoin mining pool that runs completely off hydroelectric power. Wesco Operating Inc and EZ Blockchain have found a way to capture energy from gas flares to power mining operations.
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