75% of Bitcoin is Being Mined in China

  • Some 75% of the world’s bitcoin mining is done in China, where there is cheap electricity and relatively easy access to manufacturers who make specialized hardware, according to the study.
  • Unlike most forms of currency — issued by a single entity like a central bank — bitcoin is based on a decentralized network and needs to be “mined.”
  • This mining on computers uses vast amounts of electricity, especially when conducted on a large scale.

China could end up exceeding its emissions reduction targets as a result of carbon-intensive bitcoin mining, according to a study published this week.

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Some 75% of the world’s bitcoin mining is done in China, where there is cheap electricity and relatively easy access to manufacturers who make specialized hardware, according to the study. As a result, the nation’s bitcoin carbon footprint is as big as one of its ten largest cities, the paper claims.

Unlike most forms of currency — issued by a single entity like a central bank — bitcoin is based on a decentralized network and needs to be “mined.”

This takes place when bitcoin transactions, recorded on a public ledger called the blockchain, are “verified” by miners. These miners run purpose-built computers to solve complex mathematical puzzles that effectively allow a bitcoin transaction to happen; the miners then receive bitcoin as a reward.

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This mining on computers uses vast amounts of electricity, especially when conducted on a large scale.

The research on China’s mining activities — published by peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications on Tuesday — was conducted by academics from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University, Cornell University and the University of Surrey.

www.cnbc.com/2021/04/08/chinas-bitcoin-mining-is-threatening-its-climate-change-targets.html

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