Saturday, December 16, 2017

Bitcoin Reforms Proposed to Curb Soaring Carbon Footprint

Bitcoin mining uses increasing amounts of energy (Picture Credit: Pixabay) Click to Enlarge.
Clean Coin, a research group tracking the carbon footprint of bitcoin and its rival cryptocurrency ethereum, says they emitted 9.3 million and 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 respectively in November.

If half the population embraces digital coins by 2030, they will use the equivalent of today’s entire global electricity production, the organization claims.

In a white paper on to be published on Monday, Clean Coin will suggest ways to reduce bitcoin mining’s energy consumption.

“The paper analyzes the question of what makes a coin clean, how a digital currency has to be to make sense from an environmental viewpoint.  It is a complex question with no simple answers,” said Beglinger.

Mining must be streamlined, he said – especially the “proof of work” component in which a miner solves a calculation to produce a new coin and show it is valid for the system.  To save energy, the paper proposes a “proof of stake” method in which network stakeholders or owners automatically validate coin production, rendering the “proof of work” process unnecessary.

Read more at Bitcoin Reforms Proposed to Curb Soaring Carbon Footprint

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