Blockchain technology is quite popular nowadays one of its application cryptocurrencies are even more popular than the concept of blockchain itself.
The whole concept of cryptocurrencies is based on one concept called “Mining” which has severe environmental concerns, In this article we will first understand “How mining Works?” and then we will see “How It Impacts Our Environment?” by combining both the concepts together.
How Mining Works?
Mining is the process that Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies use to generate new coins and verify new transactions. Let us understand this through taking example of Bitcoin, As it is based on Blockchain therefore to add a block of new transactions to the chain, miners must find a correct random number called “Nonce” which solves a complex equation also known as “Blockchain Puzzle”, Once Miners find Nonce a set of rules written in the Bitcoin blockchain using bitcoin script language rewards the miner awards the miner a certain amount of Bitcoin.
How Nonce is Generated?
Miners use expensive and complex mining rigs which contains GPU’S stacked together, to make these computations and the more computing power you have the easier it will be to mine Bitcoin.
A typical rig apart from GPU’S stacked together includes all the components of a PC.
As mining has evolved, people have created more intricate setups and specialized equipment.
Since it takes long time to mine even a single block of Bitcoin, miners have needed to upgrade over the years. That means multiple high-end graphic cards, pooled together, in order to process more equations at once.
Environmental Impacts of Mining
The environmental concern comes from the estimated carbon footprint generated by the power plants providing that energy. And it isn’t just mining that uses lots of power even a single bitcoin transaction takes a lot of energy.
Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption
The process of creating Bitcoin consumes around 96 terawatt-hours of electricity annually — more than what is used by the Philippines. The usage is close to half-a-percent of all electricity consumed in the world. And more than seven times as much electricity as all of Google’s global operations.
What we can do?
Crypto mining requires energy to power the computers that verify and record cryptocurrency transactions. In contrast, Green crypto mining draws power from renewable sources such as solar power, hydroelectric power and nuclear energy that emit little or no carbon.