How does cryptocurrency mining affect the pollution of the human environment?

Will the resumption of the use of discarded thermal power plants further endanger the level of pollution on the planet?

Bitcoin mining is becoming more expensive for the simple reason that fewer and fewer coins are left to be mined. Of the total predefined amount of 21 million coins, another 2.3 million coins remain to be mined.

Mining comes down to calculating cryptographic hash functions and comparing the calculated value with a database of undiscovered coins.

The smaller the remaining amount of coins, the longer the job of calculating and comparing the values of calculating hash functions.

Since the calculation process is longer, the amount of energy required for the operation of computer equipment is higher, ie the costs of electricity used by digital miners increase.

The obstacle to big Bitcoin mining is finding enough cheap energy to run huge, powerful computer plants that create and trade cryptocurrencies.

A Bitcoin mining plant in downtown New York has implemented a solution that has upset environmental movements.

Namely, the plant uses its own thermal power plant! Greenidge Generation has restarted a power plant that was once closed and conserved due to excessive environmental pollution.

Now the power plant on the shores of Lake Seneca produces about 44MW to run 15,300 computer servers as well as additional electricity it sends to the state electricity grid.

The megawatts used for Bitcoin mining and trading could power more than 35,000 homes! Proponents of cryptocurrencies call this venture a competitive way of mining cryptocurrencies without using the existing electricity grid.

Environmentalists express fear of revived fossil fuel power plants that emit greenhouse gases primarily for the purpose of making a private profit and not for the sake of achieving the public good.

Considering Greenidge a “test balloon”, environmental movements are asking the state to disable the operation of such thermal power plants in order to protect air quality and prevent similar projects.

Warnings of excessive pollution of the Earth’s atmosphere are coming from various directions, while the effects of global warming are becoming more noticeable.

According to published data, Greenidge mined 729 Bitcoin coins in the last three months, using 58 percent of the produced electricity for mining.

It was also clearly emphasized that the power plant regularly supplied the state network for electricity transmission, which was highlighted as a contribution to the energy system of the state.

Additional pollution of the human environment by reusing already discarded technologies is justified by encouraging the development of the region by introducing new cryptocurrency technology.

A new crisis may come, like the one in 2008: The culprit will be the cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies have no real value and regularly record extremely large fluctuations, which threatens the stability of financial markets

the governor said.

The deputy governor of the British central bank believes that cryptocurrencies if they are not subject to stricter regulations, can cause a global financial crisis like the one from 2008.

Sir Jon Cunliffe, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, stated that the value of the crypto-market increased from 16 billion dollars to 2.3 trillion in just five years, as it is worth today.

It reminds him of the growth of the value of the mortgage loan market, which in 2008, before its collapse, amounted to 1.2 billion dollars.

When the value of anything in the financial system grows so fast, and that growth takes place in an unregulated space, the financial authorities have to deal with it.

he said.

Cunliffe believes that the cryptocurrency market should be legally regulated, but he points out that this should not be exaggerated either, so as not to discourage the introduction of innovations in the financial sector.

He believes that the technology on which cryptocurrencies are based has a lot to offer, but it should be used with caution.

In his opinion, and in the opinion of the Governor of the Bank of England, who has already mentioned it several times, cryptocurrencies have no real value and regularly record extremely large fluctuations, which endangers the stability of financial markets all over the world.

Cunliffe reminds that their value can be affected by even one statement of a billionaire, like Elon Musk, or the decision of one country to declare them illegal, which represents a great risk for investors.

If they remained only in the digital world, then cryptocurrencies would not pose a great danger to the financial system, he believes.

But now they are intertwined with the traditional business of banks and other economic organizations. Also, more and more institutional investors are entering this field.

And every field where large sums of money are circulating needs to be regulated and supervised, says the deputy governor.

El Salvador, paying for airline tickets with Bitcoin

Low-cost airline Volaris announced that it will enable the payment of airline tickets with Bitcoin in El Salvador.

“Volaris” will thus become the first company in the world that enables passengers to pay for tickets for flights in digital currency, said the president of that country, Najib Bukele.

The company stated that it is working on enabling clients in El Salvador, which has adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender, to pay for services in digital currency at the airport.

Cryptocurrencies brought him to the Forbes list of the richest

Sam Bankman-Fried earned $22.5 billion before his 30th birthday thanks to the cryptocurrency exchange he started, although he himself does not believe much in the cryptocurrency market, writes Forbes, which recently published a list of the richest, which also includes Sam.

On a foggy evening in the late summer of 2021, Sam Bankman-Fried headed to a restaurant on the 24th floor of the five-star Equinox Hotel, which is part of the Hudson Yards complex in Manhattan.

The 29-year-old, who earned billions on cryptocurrencies, arrived from Hong Kong in part to organize his private celebration, but so as to go unnoticed.

The clothes he mostly wears, as Forbes writes – a black hooded sweatshirt, gray bermuda shorts, old “new balance” sneakers – could “hide” him on the street, but in the sea “cuffs” and “cocktail dresses”, he stands out even more than 205 centimeters tall Obi Topin, the center of the New York Knicks, who flies among the guests.

It didn’t take long before someone “hooked” him: “Can I suggest something to you?”, “What do you think about the latest fall in cryptocurrencies?”, “How about a photo for Instagram?” …

He didn’t have any Bitcoin in 2017

All of that is part of the job of the richest on Forbes’ list of rich people under 30.

FTX, Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange that allows traders to buy and sell digital money such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, raised $900 million in July from funds (Coinbase ventures and Soft Bank) at an estimated value of $18 billion.

FTX manages about 10 percent of the face value of $ 3.4 trillion in derivatives (mostly futures and options), which are traded by crypto investors every month.

FTX earns an average of 0.02 percent on each of these transactions, has a profit of about $750 million in revenue with almost no risk, and has made $350 million in net profit in the last 12 months.

On its own, its trading company Alameda Research recorded a profit of $1 billion on timely transactions last year.

Recently, Bankman-Fried appeared on television to express his opinion on Bitcoin prices, regulations, and the future of digital assets writes Forbes.

Bitcoin consumes more electricity than Finland!

About 91 terawatt-hours of electricity are consumed to process Bitcoin transactions in one year, half a percent of the total consumption in the world, writes the New York Times.

That is more than electricity consumption in countries like Finland, where about 5.5 million people live.

If you want to pay something with Bitcoin, the first part of that transaction is simple and fast: you open an account on an exchange platform, like Coinbase.

It allows you to buy that cryptocurrency in dollars. After obtaining a digital wallet, Bitcoin needs to be transferred to the digital wallet of the person to whom something is being paid.

Then the transaction must be confirmed by the Bitcoin network, in order for the recipient to be convinced that what he is receiving is not fake. This explains the functioning of the giant online database where this data is stored.

In fact, much of the electricity is consumed there. Around the world, companies and individuals known as Bitcoin miners are competing to confirm this transaction and enter them in a public book in which all Bitcoin transactions are recorded.

They basically play guessing, using powerful computers that expend a lot of energy to try to beat others in that competition. Because if they are successful in that, they will be rewarded with valuable newly created Bitcoin. In fact, this competition for newly created Bitcoin is called “mining”.

For a long time, money was thought of as something that could be held in the hand. Traditional currencies are not completely free to use. Banks, credit card networks, and other intermediaries can control the use of their financial networks.

As a rule, this should prevent money laundering. For example, if you want to transfer a large amount of money to someone, the bank will report it to the state, even if the transfer is in progress. That is why a group of free thinkers figured out how to avoid such controls.

In 2008, an unknown person or several of them under the name Satoshi Nakamoto proposed the creation of an electronic payment system similar to cash, without intermediaries. This is how the currently most famous digital currency, managed by a decentralized network of users, was created.

Today, one Bitcoin is worth about $63,000, but its value often varies. However, the consumption of a large amount of electricity was the reason for the emergence of initiatives for the use of clean electricity in mining, as evidenced by a special certificate.

Bitcoin use has been shown to be accompanied by many illegal activities, such as money laundering. U.S. authorities arrested the alleged main operator of the cryptocurrency website Bitcoin Fog in April on three charges related to money laundering.

America Dominates Bitcoin Market: Bans in China drive all cryptocurrencies out of the country

In September 2019, miners in China accounted for 75% of the total Bitcoin coin mining activity, and after the measures introduced by the Chinese government, the USA now becomes dominant with more than a third of the total power of the Bitcoin network.

Following the introduction of initial restrictive measures against Bitcoin miners in China, it was rumored that large mining farms were looking for a new location, in order to continue mining in peace.

Texas and Kazakhstan were in the story, as the most serious options.

Liberal Texas for BTC mining

Texas is known for liberal regulations for working with cryptocurrencies, as well as low electricity prices, which are two very important items when it comes to choosing a location for a new crypto-farm.

On the other hand, Kazakhstan is the most logistically logical choice, because it is a direct neighbor of China, and it has a large number of thermal power plants that rely on coal, which means a low price of electricity.

According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Consumption Index(CBECI), Bitcoin miners in the U.S. make up 35.4% of the total global BTC hash rate distribution.

According to the same source, Kazakhstan is second with 18%, followed by Russia with 11%, as a new player, whose market share is growing.

In essence, these three nations have achieved the largest market share since China imposed serious restrictions.

Mass migrations of miners

In June, in the midst of restrictions, the fifth-largest crypto-community of miners(mining pool) left the territory of China and moved its business to Kazakhstan.

At that time, accounted for 10.4% of the total validation of Bitcoin blockchain blocks.

It is also interesting that the CBECI index shows that the percentage of Chinese miners has dropped to 0%, which is simply unbelievable.

Given such a large number of miners, we are pretty sure that there is a good percentage of those who still mine Bitcoin, but below the radar.

Of course, one should be careful, because China, and realistically, no other country in the world looks favorably on those who do not respect the law, so the Malaysian police have confiscated more than a $1.3 million cryptocurrency digging machine.

In addition to the large migration of crypto-miners from China to the United States, American miners such as Argo Blockchain, Riot Blockchain, Marathon, and many others took advantage of the situation and bought large quantities of mining rigs from Bitmain and MicroBT, which regularly supplied the Chinese market.

In 2021, the aforementioned Riot Blockchain tripled its capacity from 2,457 Bitcoin coins excavated in 10 months.

Ohio and Texas as main oases

In addition to Texas, another potential destination is the state of Ohio, also due to the popular price of electricity, as well as the fact that BIT Mining, a company specializing in Bitcoin mining, has entered into a joint project to build a huge plant for 85 megawatt Bitcoin companies, with Viking Data Centers, which are developing data centers focused on crypto miners and the necessary infrastructure.

In this way, not only will Ohio get a large Bitcoin mining facility, but it will also provide the necessary infrastructure for all those interested.

The shady history of the Upbit crypto exchange

Upbit is a crypto exchange from South Korea that launched on October 24, 2017.

The company was led by Chi-Hyung Song, the CEO of the company, and Sirgoo Lee, who was the CEO of Dunamu, the parent company.

Not long after, the Upbit exchange started receiving a very high trading volume, positioning among the top 10 crypto exchanges in the world based on 24h trading volume.

Also as a part of their efforts, they received certifications from Korea Internet and Security Agency for Information Security Management System(ISMS).

However, not all went great.

The first raid on Upbit

On May 10, 2018, the main office of Upbit was raided due to fraud allegations.

KIU, FSC, and Seoul Police entered the offices of Upbit at 10 AM, suspecting that Upbit doesn’t hold the quantity of funds it reported.

The Upbit team however published their own audit, trying to clear the suspicion of fraud from their names.

A formal charge of Upbit executives

On December 21, 2018, 3 executives from Upbit got charged by the South Korean prosecutors.

The executives allegedly made fraudulent transactions in 2017, making fake orders totaling around $226.2 billion.

It was suspected that they did this in order to fake the trading volume of the Upbit exchange, thus attracting more users to their platform.

Apart from that, they got accused of selling 11,550 Bitcoins(worth around $120 million) to their customers at inflated prices.

The prosecutors asked for a 7 year fine in prison for the Upbit executives, as well as to order them to pay around 1 billion WON.

A clearing of fraud from Upbit

However, on January 2, 2020, the charges got dismissed on the grounds of lack of evidence.

Even though prosecutors accused Upbit of creating fake orders and inflating prices, Deputy Judge Oh Sang-Yong dismissed the case based on a lack of evidence to support the prosecutor’s story.

The Upbit Ethereum hack

On November 27, 2019, Upbit lost 342,000 ETH, worth about $48 million.

The funds were, over a single transaction, transferred to an Ethereum wallet with the address of 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029.

The investigation has later shown around 815 wallets trying to cash out the funds, mostly through Bitmax, Binance, Okex, and Huobi exchnages.

Of course, the exchanges like Binance managed to identify and freeze many of the hacker funds, however not all of them got recovered.

Excavated Almost 90% of Bitcoin – What fate will befall the crypto-economy?

Bitcoin, the world’s largest and most famous cryptocurrency, has a limited supply of 21 million coins, with almost 90 percent of them already mined.

Analysts are already considering what fate will befall the crypto-economy once new coins are not issued.

Unlike other forms of money, including decree money, which can be printed at the will of central banks, Bitcoin has a limited supply of 21 million coins.

This means that there is or will be a total of only 21 million Bitcoins.

By August 2021, approximately 18.7 million Bitcoins were available, and only 2.3 million remained for mining, according to Investopedia data.

Supply restraint makes the world’s oldest cryptocurrency a restricted commodity and controls inflation that could otherwise result from an unlimited supply of coins.

Also, such a situation leads to an estimate that the year 2,140 will be the time when the last Bitcoin will be mined.

If this is taken into account, the question arises whether the Bitcoin network will remain functional even after that time.

Analysts say that the economy of Bitcoin must change in order for the network to remain operational.

Many predict that the cryptocurrency ecosystem could go through a process of transformation, just like its identity.

It was originally introduced as a medium of exchange for daily transactions but later found greater popularity as a means of investment.

Analysts also say that those who mine Bitcoins could join cartels, similar to those that control other commodities, such as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which controls the oil market.

Another possibility presented by analysts is that Bitcoin could become a reserve asset, which would reduce the number of transactions on the crypto network because retailers and small trading companies would be replaced by large institutional and trading players.

They would run a smaller number of larger transactions, which would extend the time to find the last Bitcoin.

Finally, the protocol that applies to cryptocurrency can be changed to extend production once it reaches the 21 million mark.

However, that would reduce the value of already found Bitcoins, which coin owners will probably not accept.

Currently, however, Bitcoin scarcity and rising prices are attracting speculative investors, whose actions have led to value changes that discourage serious investors from cryptocurrency.

The price of Bitcoin this year plummeted from its highest value of $60,000 in February to half that amount over the summer to rebound to $55,000 per coin this week.

Still, some countries like El Salvador and Cuba see potential in the currency and are taking steps to make it a legal tender.