Bitcoin (BTC), by far the largest and best-known cryptocurrency, has come under pressure from environmental advocates and regulators in recent months due to its very high power consumption.
The skyrocketing the price of bitcoin was accompanied by an increase in the demand for electricity from the bitcoin network. The process of securing the network, confirming transactions and minting new coins annually consumes an amount of electricity comparable to that of some small countries.
After the postponement of an Ethereum upgrade to the end of the year, the second largest cryptocurrenciescurrency after bitcoin, with a view to reducing energy consumption, internal European Union documents revealed the extent of anti-bitcoin discussions among European officials, as well as their desire to “protect” ethereum.
Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have been criticized for their energy needs and possible negative effects on the environment.
Earlier this year, Swedish financial regulators and the European Commission discussed the possibility of banning bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) mining mechanism due to its environmental impact. , according to documents published by the German site Netzpolitik and obtained under European freedom of information laws.
Officials have gone so far as to suggest that the EU ban bitcoin exchanges in order to reduce overall energy consumption. They also suggested lobbying the bitcoin community and developers to follow Ethereum’s lead by adopting the less power-hungry proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism.
“If ethereum is able to move, we can legitimately ask bitcoin to do the same,” the minutes of the meeting showed. “We need to ‘protect’ other cryptocurrencies that are sustainable. I do not see it [le] needed to ‘protect’ the bitcoin community. †
Last month, the European Union voted against a ban on bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining with proof of work, which, according to the University of Cambridge’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, currently uses about 139 terawatt hours (Twh) of electricity per year, more than the country of Finland. .
Some of the text of the minutes, including the answer to a question about the complete ban on bitcoin transactions, has been redacted to protect the “ongoing decision-making process”.
” How [la] would the disappearance of bitcoin affect consumers? asked one concerned official, commenting: “Bitcoin participants are fully aware of currency volatility/investment risk. †
The price of bitcoin has skyrocketed in recent years, pushing the price of ethereum and other… [+] cryptocurrencies, and increasing the energy needs of the bitcoin network.
Economist Alex de Vries told Netzpolitik that “focusing on the price of bitcoin is the only thing that” will reduce bitcoin’s carbon footprint. According to De Vries, policymakers should tax transactions or restrict trading in certain cryptocurrencies.
When the price of bitcoin rises, more computers are fed into the bitcoin network, making it more secure, but so does the amount of electricity used by the network to power the graphics processing unit (GPU), which specializes in cryptocurrency mining. supply and cool.
Meanwhile, bitcoin’s price growth has also raised fears that the rapidly changing crypto market could soon become a threat to global financial stability.
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