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Research criticizes that Bitcoin consumes a lot of water, exacerbating the global water shortage problem.

2024-05-23 Update From: SLTechnology News&Howtos shulou NAV: SLTechnology News&Howtos > IT Information >

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Shulou(Shulou.com)12/24 Report--

CTOnews.com, Dec. 4 (Xinhua)-- at a time when many parts of the world are suffering from fresh water shortages, a new study by Alex de Vries of the Free University of Amsterdam points out that the average bitcoin transaction consumes enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool, which is 6 million times that of a typical credit card transaction.

The study points out that Bitcoin consumes so much water mainly because the millions of computers it relies on around the world need a lot of electricity to run and dissipate heat. Bitcoin's water consumption is close to 160 billion litres, or 1600 GL, in 2021, while water consumption in 2023 is expected to exceed 2200 GL.

Bitcoin uses so much water mainly because it relies on huge computing power, which in turn consumes a lot of electricity. According to the University of Cambridge, Bitcoin consumes only slightly less electricity than Poland as a whole. To provide this electricity, gas-and coal-fired power plants need to use water for cooling, and reservoirs that supply hydroelectric plants lose large amounts of water due to evaporation. In addition, some of the water is used to cool millions of computers around the world that process bitcoin transactions.

CTOnews.com notes that the energy-consuming process at the core of Bitcoin is called "bitcoin mining". In short, miners compete to solve mathematical equations on the Internet in exchange for access to digital money, which means that the same transaction is repeated by multiple powerful and energy-consuming computers.

If you change the way Bitcoin works, you can significantly reduce electricity use, thereby significantly reducing water consumption. In September 2022, the cryptocurrency Ethernet Fang achieved this transformation, using the "proof of interest" system, thus reducing its electricity usage by more than 99%. However, this shift may not be easy to achieve because the management of Ethernet Fong is much more centralized than Bitcoin.

The study also pointed out that as many as 3 billion people around the world are already facing the problem of water shortage, which is expected to worsen in the coming decades.

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