Researchers at the Technical University of Munich are encouraging regulators to look beyond Bitcoin when it comes to the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining.

According to the August 4th issue of the Joule magazine, researchers Ulrich Gallersdörfer, Lena Klaaßen and Christian Stoll found that Bitcoin mining (BTC) only accounts for 66% of the total energy consumption of the 20 largest digital currencies by market value.

“Based on basic algorithms, current hash rates and suitable mining hardware, we come to the conclusion that Bitcoin accounts for 2/3 of the total energy consumption and unexamined cryptocurrencies account for a third of the remaining,” the report states:

“Ill-considered coins increase Bitcoin’s hunger for energy by around 50%, which can actually lead to significant environmental damage.”

The study determined the alternative currency’s energy consumption by analyzing hash rates and mining machinery. The blockchains included Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Zcash (ZEC), DogeCoin (DOGE ), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Decred (DCR), RavenCoin (RVN), MonaCoin (MONA), Bytom (BTM), SiaCoin (SC), DigiByte (DGB), Horizen (ZEN), Komodo (KMD), Bytecoin ( BCN)).

Cryptocurrency Mining Is Destroying The Planet?
The research team emphasized that while the energy requirements for cryptocurrency mining is an issue for environmental scientists, many studies focus solely on Bitcoin and not all cryptocurrencies.

The report says: “Energy consumption per se is not an issue in the context of climate change.” However, it has been mentioned that crypto mining creates an unexpected payload that requires additional resources. “Increasing the full-load hours of some generation resources can have an impact on fuel exchanges and change the intensity of local emissions,” which exacerbates the environmental impact.

Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney pointed out back in 2009 that mining had the potential to create a nightmare for the environment because of its energy needs, and this was before altcoins were created. According to Digiconomist, the collective energy consumption of the Bitcoin mining network today – around 63.5 TWh – exceeds energy consumption in many industrialized countries, including Switzerland.

Is Oil The Answer?
Most of the energy used to generate Bitcoin already comes from renewable energy sources. According to a December 2019 report by research firm CoinShares, almost 73% of Bitcoin mining is powered by renewable energy.

One proposed solution to tackling energy use in cryptocurrencies is to convert excess gas generated during oil mining into electricity. By setting up container mines with fields, there is no need to build pipelines or waste excess gas. The facility simply converts excess gas or oil into electricity to power the mining platforms.

Source: CoinTelegraph