Cryptocurrency mining has always had a bad reputation among the masses due to the sheer amount of electricity and effort it consumes. Bitcoin mining took most of the hits after several reports were published on resource waste and its astronomical costs.
Recently, a new report released by the Telegraph reported that Bitcoin used more energy per transaction than the British household used in two years. Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse, Chief Executive Officer, has commented on the issue and how it impacts global warming.
The report stated that the amount of energy required to mine one Bitcoin rose to a record of 77.78 terawatts per hour. This count was so high that it equaled the entire energy consumption of Chile.
Statistics have shown that the carbon footprint of a single transaction is the same as 780,650 Visa transactions or 52,043 hours of YouTube streaming. The numbers were clocked by Alex de Vries, a blockchain specialist at PriceWaterhouseCoopers [PwC]. Mr de Vries added:
“People react with disbelief, but the figures are true. They [miners] are sort of participating in a massive lottery and every 10 minutes one gets lucky and gets to produce the next block. The shocking thing is the average lifetime of a bitcoin mining machine is one and a half years, because we have a new generation of machines which are better at doing these calculations.”
Every Bitcoin transaction uses around 657.39 kWh of electricity, a measure of the astronomical lengths that miners go to collect the world’s largest cryptocurrency. At least 98 percent of the devices during their lifetime will find it impossible to make a calculation that leads to a Bitcoin being mined.
The environmental effects have usually been shunned by cryptocurrency miners and that was something Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse agreed with too. He stated that the current climate crisis needs to be taken care of and that crypto-mining could be refined.
Energy consumption for BTC and ETH mining is a massive waste and there’s no incentive to take responsibility for the carbon footprint. Absolutely 🤯 that this isn’t high on the agenda for the growing climate crisis… https://t.co/psR77m78Ua
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) March 4, 2020
Garlinghouse may have been optimistic because Ripple’s native XRP cryptocurrency was a non-minable cryptocurrency. The backlash had an impact on the market with businesses like Mattereum attempting to set up a blockchain to record the provenance of the items. The items roster comprised of items such as fine wines, memorabilia or carbon offset certificates. Officials in the digital asset world have admitted that with the progress of technology, the process of mining must improve it.