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Author Topic: How to solve electricity and pollution problems related to Bitcoin?  (Read 88 times)
joaco
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February 12, 2018, 03:29:13 PM
 #1

Recently I started thinking about something I read a while ago and could not find its source to review it again. It was an article in which it was argued that the Bitcoin network wasn't sustainable in the long term due to the high contamination related to the enormous energy consumption associated with mining bitcoins.

I started thinking, and today there isn't a clear solution to this problem. Maybe today isn't such a serious problem, but what will happen when Bitcoin becomes one of the main sources of pollution?

There are also other questions about the sustainability of the Bitcoin ecosystem, but here I want to focus specifically on this problem.

What can we do to reduce or constantly maintain electricity consumption when mining bitcoins?

Note: I'm not an expert in bitcoin mining, I'm only attracted to the technology around it. As an economist, I'm very concerned about issues related to sustainability and Bitcoin's economy.
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February 12, 2018, 03:42:46 PM
 #2

Bitcoin is insignificant when it comes to considerations of pollution. Electric cars will probably be far worse, Mass migration into cities is another problem. Pollution of the land and seas with human waste and pesticides etc. The US experiments to use air pollution to affect climate change as a weapon of war. I'm sure you can think of many other things that are far more significant than Bitcoin's electrical consumption.

You can't destroy energy, you can only change its form, so what are they doing with all the energy that is reformed by Bitcoin mining.

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joaco
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February 12, 2018, 03:52:11 PM
 #3

Bitcoin is insignificant when it comes to considerations of pollution. Electric cars will probably be far worse, Mass migration into cities is another problem. Pollution of the land and seas with human waste and pesticides etc. The US experiments to use air pollution to affect climate change as a weapon of war. I'm sure you can think of many other things that are far more significant than Bitcoin's electrical consumption.

You can't destroy energy, you can only change its form, so what are they doing with all the energy that is reformed by Bitcoin mining.

Of course, you're right about that!

I was just thinking that there may be a solution for electricity consumption when mining bitcoins that I obviously don't know about, or maybe something related to what you mentioned about the reformed energy.
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February 12, 2018, 03:53:12 PM
 #4

Proof of Stake.

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February 12, 2018, 03:54:04 PM
Merited by joaco (1)
 #5

Luckily clean energy based on renewable resources is on the rise, so with a little luck we won't need to think about this issue in 10 - 20 years.

Apart from that: One factor where Bitcoin is helping alleviate its own energy usage is the regular halving. Given a constant Bitcoin price, each halving makes mining Bitcoin less profitable, resulting in less money and thus in less energy being spent on mining.

Of course as we all know the Bitcoin price is far from constant, but assuming that Bitcoin survives the coming years and does not utterly devaluate, it is fairly safe to assume that Bitcoin price will plateau at one point. It's hard to say where this hypothetical sweet spot will lie, but at that point the energy spent on mining will likely reach a plateau as well, with hashrate only growing due to increased hardware efficiency rather than due to more money being spent on electricity.

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February 12, 2018, 04:07:25 PM
Last edit: September 03, 2018, 12:30:45 PM by Dany44
 #6

Meanwhile, the consumption of Bitcoin mining is beginning to outpace Ireland’s entire energy consumption

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February 12, 2018, 04:45:18 PM
 #7

I was just thinking that there may be a solution for electricity consumption when mining bitcoins that I obviously don't know about, or maybe something related to what you mentioned about the reformed energy.
Bitcoin's security is based on Proof of Work.  Miners are incentivised to mine by the block reward and the transaction fees - the electricity used is based on how much money is available, which is the combined value of the block reward and transaction fees.

Alternatives to PoW include Proof of Stake and mixed systems.  However, garnering consensus for any specific solution would be very difficult, and PoW has proven very secure over the nine years that Bitcoin has existed.
Bitcoin is insignificant when it comes to considerations of pollution.
Per transaction, it's pretty significant.  If it was used by more people and/or the price was higher, it would be very significant overall.

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February 12, 2018, 04:51:54 PM
 #8

The governments is resolving this matter. If you see some countries use solar panels so they can reduce the electric consumption. One example China you can watch the video here  http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/17/news/economy/china-solar-panels-tariffs/index.html. China is no.1 in Gas emitter and they want to reduce it and they want it Green. so this is the best solution to our problem.

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February 12, 2018, 05:00:23 PM
 #9

As someone pointed out above, it will be interesting to see if the halfing eventually leads to less miners.  So far, we are not seeing it, though, the rise of hashing power has been pretty consistent through the halfing. 

https://blockchain.info/charts/hash-rate
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February 12, 2018, 05:23:37 PM
 #10

for me the best way to reduce pollution is by changing into pos instead of pow because pos is good actually and almost the same with pow but pos is good environment because dont need machine which need to pay a lot for it..and now more and more pos coin just get in volume

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February 12, 2018, 05:36:46 PM
 #11

Bitcoin mining is bad for the environment, because it consumes Electricity with too much fossil fuel.
coal, petroleum, natural gas, start rarely. If we are now currently wasting electricity, what will we leave for our next generation?
If the contents of the bowels of the earth continue to be excavated, will cause acid rain and pollution. and its impact on the world
Miners should seek alternative energy, in addition to using fossil-fueled electricity
(Save our earth)
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February 12, 2018, 05:43:03 PM
 #12

Some ideas :
1. Change PoW mechanism with other algorithm such as PoS & dPoS, but likely won't happen since it's very controversial topic and people said other mechanism is less secure than PoW.
2. Encourage miners to use clean energy, especially now some clean energy is cheaper than non-clean energy which will benefit miners and reduce pollution problems at same time.
3. Make petition for government to stop big miners which uses non-clean energy (i know it's harsh, but i'm sure it's effective method).
4. Change PoW algorithm from SHA-256 to another algorithm, but it's temporary solution since people simply can switch from their ASIC to CPU/GPU.

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February 12, 2018, 05:45:37 PM
 #13

Energy and population are two environmental concerns. IMO, using renewable energy such as solar and water powered energy for mining will help to reduce the environmental impacts.

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February 12, 2018, 05:53:06 PM
 #14

why did you mention pollution in connection to bitcoin? You mean air pollution due to bitcoin mining? In my opinion, i dont think bitcoin mining is a big factory producing physical coins that emits or produce harmful carbon monixide that pollutes the air. When it comes to electricity consumption problem, i saw a certain plaform that produces natural energy through natural assets like turning wastes into energy and by the energy those wastes produce, they use it in mining tokens. I think it is a good idea, aside from consuming a natural energy at the same time reduces also wastes that cause pollution. It is good if this idea be adopted in mining bitcoins.

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