American network the scientific journal Nature Sustainability has published research data showing that the energy cost of mining cryptocurrency is not inferior to the extraction of gold and other precious metals.

The report’s authors – Max Krause and Thabet Tolaymat, the staff of the oak ridge Institute for science and education – write that to create a cryptocurrency for the amount of one dollar goes from 7 to 14 MJ of energy. It is more than necessary for the extraction of copper or gold for the same amount, and figure, roughly equal to the intensive production of platinum and rare earth elements. According to the authors of the report, bitcoin, like the minerals in the earth’s crust is finite and can be “mined”, and, similar to the traditional use of natural resources, captaining can be quite energy intensive.

Krause and Tolaymat also working in the Department of research and development Agency of environmental protection, USA, analyzed the energy cost of the four cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, Ethereum, litecoin and Monero. In the process of mining of these cryptocurrencies consume large amounts of electricity. Although the process of solving mathematical problems with the help of special equipment takes about 10 minutes, a conventional computer requires almost a year of work to solve this problem, they said. Thus, Krause and Tolaymat believe that “the process of adding blocks to the chain requires a lot of computation and high costs of energy.”

According to their estimates, in the period between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2018 mining bitcoin, Ethereum, litecoin or Monero worth one us dollar demanded from 7 to 17 megajoules of energy. Compared to this, the traditional extraction of aluminium, copper, gold, platinum and rare earth elements valued at $1, 122, 4, 5, 7 and 9 MJ, respectively. These figures show that captaining more energy intensive than the mining of precious metals (except aluminum) having the same market value.

The growth of popularity of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is growing concern due to their environmental load. Published earlier this year, the report shows that mining of bitcoin consumes as much electricity as the whole of Ireland, and by the end of 2018 can consume almost half of the percentage of the world’s entire electricity. Since the main source of electricity is fossil fuels – coal and gas – consumption can have a significant impact on the natural environment. Estimated Krause and Tolaymat, mining all four of cryptocurrencies throughout the period of observation (30 months) was the cause of CO2 emissions in the amount of from 3 to 15 million tons.

29 Oct monthly scientific journal Nature Climate Change published an article titled “only the issue of bitcoin can increase global temperature more than 2°C”. According to the authors of the material, it will happen by 2033. Hot on the heels of this publication, the website ThinkProgress interviewed three leading experts in the field of energy consumption in the IT sector, and they are extremely critical of the methods of analysis and conclusions contained in the report, published in the journal. According to these experts, the energy (and environmental) crisis, called bitcoin, is a myth.

According to the materials of Cosmos Magazine.