Miners are known to consume a lot. What if, in the end, the crypto miners were using less energy than is often said in the media?
The greenback is not green unlike Bitcoin
According to a study carried out by Cambridge University – the Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study – the mining industry is making increasing use of renewable energy.
The Proof-of-Work (PoW) has always been heavily criticised for being energy-intensive. The research report indicates that 39% of the total energy consumed by PoW protocols, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, comes from renewable sources.
76% of miners currently use green electricity in their energy mix, compared to 60% in 2018. The previous study carried out by the university indicated that only 28% of the energy used by the miners came from renewable sources.
Each to his own source, each to his own path
Hydroelectric power is the most common source of energy used by 62% of miners. Coal and natural gas are next, with 38% and 36% of users respectively. Wind power, solar energy and oil are also frequently used sources of energy.
In terms of energy consumption by region, crypto miners based in Asia, Europe and North America use an equal proportion of hydropower and other sources. In the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, coal is the most common energy source, while in Latin America no miners use this energy source.
Miners in the APAC region contribute nearly 77% of the total hashrate; however, they use a smaller proportion of renewable energy.
For North America, which contributes 8% of the hashrate, 63% of the energy consumed comes from environmentally friendly sources.
Europe, which provides 10% of the hashrate, supplies the mining industry with 30% renewable energy.
Can we do better in terms of green mining? Of course yes, we could use zero fossil fuels, but there is still a long way to go despite the current positive developments. Proof-of-Stake (PoS) is seen by some as the future of the blockade because it would be less energy consuming than PoW. However, PoW offers more security than PoS. The DeFi is in favour of a PoS whose passive income is a classic model existing even in traditional finance. But the original blockchain was created with PoW: it is certainly necessary to evolve, but don’t certain evolutions risk distorting the initial philosophy?