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Crypto Mining Uses More Energy than Mineral Mining – Study

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Updated research done by scientific journal Nature Sustainability disclosed that crypto mining uses more energy than mineral mining to generate virtually the same market value.

Scientists from the United States Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education did a study to assess how much energy is utilized by mining cryptocurrencies compared to aluminium, copper, gold, platinum and rare earth oxides.

The experts took a look at the period from Jan.1, 2016, to June 30, 2018, and discovered that the mining of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Monero (XMR) used up an average of 17, 7, 7 and 14 megajoules (MJ) to generate one U.S. dollar, respectively.

In comparison, mining aluminium, copper, gold, platinum and rare earth oxides used up 122, 4, 5, 7 and 9 MJ to generate the same value. These discoveries virtually show that mineral mining, with the exception of aluminium and some oxides, draws less energy than crypto.

Moreover, the dataset for the research shows that energy consumption for three of four mentioned digital currencies — BTC, ETH and LTC — tends to increase from year to year. For instance, in 2016 BTC needed 17 MJ to make one U.S. dollar, but now it uses up 19 MJ.

The report also remarked that the energy requirements per dollar would remain on the rise. The scientists settled that over the three years included in study, mining was accountable for 3–15 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

High energy consumption is thought of by some to be an “Achilles Heel” for main cryptocurrencies. According to a report earlier this year, crypto mining in Iceland was expected to utilize more energy than most households this year.

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