The world of cryptocurrency is becoming ever-more resource intensive. For example, Bitcoin mining in September 2021 in the U.S. alone used the equivalent annual energy as 3,266,449 houses. And this number is only increasing.
As the Paris Agreement aims to limit next stage of global warming, environmentalist have called for a ban on crypto mining. In fact, Swedish authorities are begging the European Union to take swift, immediate action.
Sweden calls on EU to ban Bitcoin mining
Reported by EuroNews, Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority director Erik Thedéen and EPA director Björn Risinger have warned of Bitcoin’s massive environmental impact. Between April and August, mining consumption skyrocketed by “several hundred” percent. This used up the same resources as 200,000 Swedish homes.
As a result, Risinger and Thedéen have called on the EU to impose a strict bitcoin mining ban. Additionally, any cryptocurrency using “proof of work” must be banned alongside companies that “trade and invest” in crypto claiming they're environmentally sustainable.
Sweden’s issues with cryptocurrency are only rising. Following the China crypto ban, many are flocking to the country in the express interest of crypto. This is because Sweden has highly affordable, renewable energy compared to other regions.
Not a good use for Swedish energy
Thedéen and Risinger explained that the gluttonous reality of crypto mining is using up far too much energy. While Sweden is known for its fantastic systems for renewable energy, crypto mining takes up far too much of it.
They explained: It is currently possible to drive a mid-size electric car 1.8 million kilometres using the same energy it takes to mine one single Bitcoin. This is the equivalent of forty-four laps around the globe. 900 bitcoins are mined every day. This is not a reasonable use of our renewable energy".
While some virtual tokens are moving away from Proof of Work mining, it’s still the predominant method. This incredibly resource intensive way of creating and using virtual currencies is far too damaging on the environment.