The fight surrounding bitcoin mining is again moving north. This time around, many authorities in Sweden feel that the process of crypto mining should be curbed throughout Europe. In other words, it cannot occur at the rate it’s happening right now.
Sweden Looks to Crack Down on Crypto Mining
Crypto mining has become one of the most controversial topics in the digital currency scene as of late. For one thing, the process has gotten a lot of flak from the likes of Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX fame and Kevin O’Leary, who is often featured on the show “Shark Tank.” Musk, for example, commented that he does not want to accept crypto payments for his Tesla vehicles until miners learn to control their emissions and use their energy in a wiser capacity.
In addition, O’Leary has stated that he will no longer be buying digital currency mined in China given the country does not employ “green” extraction methods. There have also been several reports published throughout the years claiming that crypto mining uses more energy than some countries.
Now, authorities in Sweden – in accordance with the Paris Agreement – are asking regulators throughout Europe to get together and create legislation that would crack down on crypto mining projects that use excess amounts of energy. The goal is to lower the world’s temperature by roughly 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The concerns stem from Erik Thedeen – director of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority – and Bjorn Risinger, director of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. In an open letter, both figures say that there is simply too much energy being used in the crypto mining space, and that such usage has shot up by roughly 700 percent.
If we were to allow extensive mining of crypto assets in Sweden, there is a risk that the renewable energy available to us will be insufficient to cover the required climate transition that we need to make.
One of the main things the letter tackles is the issue of “proof of work,” which is currently employed by most mining companies. This process involves contributing computer power to solve mathematical equations that ultimately validate all transactions occurring on the blockchain. The more powerful the computer, the stronger the miner’s chance of validating and earning crypto.
Learn to Control the Amount of Energy!
But the letter’s writers believe this method uses way too much energy. The document continues with:
It is currently possible to drive a mid-sized electric car 1.8 million kilometers using the same energy it takes to mine one single bitcoin. This is the equivalent of forty-four laps around the globe. Nine hundred bitcoins are mined every day. This is not a reasonable use of our renewable energy.
The writers are now proposing several policy options that will offset some of the emissions such as taxes on crypto operations and extensive environmental education.