• Sun. Oct 17th, 2021

Ecological cryptocurrencies wanted

Byeditorial

May 14, 2021

Yesterday proposing to focus on much less energy-intensive cryptocurrencies than bitcoin and reiterating with three quick tweets today (“it’s time for a carbon tax” and “I firmly believe in cryptocurrencies but they cannot lead to a massive increase in the use of fossil fuels, especially of coal “,” Collaborating with Doge developers to improve the efficiency of system transactions “), Elon Musk vibrated the value of bitcoin which, two hours after the first straight-leg chirp, fell by almost 20% to then settle back towards 50 thousand dollars. Although, in between, he has increased the dose by publishing, also on Twitter, a graph with the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index and commenting “The trend of the last few months in the use of energy is crazy”. The apocalyptic-integrated debate continues in waves, between supporters of the waste of resources for the production of cryptocurrencies and those who instead downsize its scope. All while bitcoin and the others are gradually acquiring a role as a safe haven asset, even in these days marked by US inflation data, which in April jumped by + 4.2%, the highest figure since 2008 (and a lot beyond analysts’ expectations), driven by the recovery in post lockdown consumption and by the rush in raw material prices, also due to the shortage of supplies. Gianclaudio Torlizzi, general manager of the T-Commodity consulting firm explained: “Mining currently accounts for 0.6% of world electricity consumption comparable to a country like New Zealand. If we wanted to draw up a ranking, bitcoin mining would occupy the twenty-ninth place in the ranking of the most polluting countries. However, Tesla’s decision will also have a wider impact as it will help to ease the tension that today persists in the prime semiconductor market (responsible for both the decline in car production we have seen in recent months) and the shortage of containers. in the shipping market. This should help kickstart a cooling of the price of raw materials. “One voice that recommends moving the problem further upstream is that of Ferdinando Ametrano, who teaches Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology at the University of Milan-Bicocca and is CEO of CheckSig. As he explained in one of his recent CryptoWeek speeches: a green soul for cryptocurrencies? “I don’t think it’s achievable. From two points of view. Can we reduce consumption? No. Consumption is related to GDP growth. More wealth equals more energy. We cannot reduce its use. We need to find ways of producing it that are renewable and sustainable. The concerns must be shifted from reducing consumption to sustainability in energy production “. Also because, again Musk, when in the first quarter of 2021 he decided to buy cryptocurrencies worth 1.5 billion dollars with Tesla, bitcoin consumed more or less what it consumes now, as much or as little as it is. Of course, being among the most popular cryptocurrencies, Etehreum (the second after Bitcoin) has an energy / transaction ratio that is less than half of its rival. But if it is true that Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that consumes the most energy, it is also true that it seems to be progressively shifting the bulk of production from China and from countries where the energy sources are fossil fuels to places where energy is cheaper, but also sustainable and renewable such as Iceland, Norway, Canada and some parts of Russia. April 2021 was in fact the first month of the last 8 years in which the hash rate of BTC, or computational power necessary for mining (and therefore consumption), coming from China was lower than that coming from outside. of the country. A figure certified once again by the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index. But are there any green crypto? There are digital currencies that aim, directly or indirectly, at the sharing of software and at the specificity of the use of clean energy. CureCoin, a cryptocurrency designed to support scientific research, rewards shared work. Those who want to offer computing power can download the software and make their own, even domestic, available for mining, obtaining a reward in CureCoin. Other currencies generate incentives for photovoltaic systems: Solarcoin creates 1 token for every Megawatt / hour generated by solar energy, thus paying off the systems. Others, like BitGreen, use lower energy-consuming protocols, as well as repaying users for their green actions ranging from carpooling to sustainable shopping.

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