It only takes 8 small Bitcoin transactions to generate the waste of GeForce RTX 3090. This is the key conclusion I drew from a report on the electronic waste of the basic cryptocurrency infrastructure. You can also describe it as the equivalent of throwing away two iPhones in one transaction, but I haven’t worn a turtleneck sweater since I was three years old. Throwing some of Apple’s best pieces in the trash can feel too close to the front. Grasp the point. .
From the perspective of pure power, there are many articles on the ecological impact of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, but not many articles on the impact of the large amount of e-waste created by the entire cryptographic effort. And many.
As far as its own research is concerned, Bitcoin’s growing e-waste problem (pass through protector), estimated by economists from the Dutch Central Bank and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Bitcoin’s e-waste… will increase by 30.7 metric tons per year by May 2021. This figure is comparable to the small IT and telecommunication equipment waste generated in countries like this The number is quite Dutch.”
To make matters worse, the report estimates that when the Bitcoin price peaked earlier this year, the annual amount of garbage could exceed 64.4 metric tons, indicating how destructive further price increases could be.
I mean, I’m used to the kiloton measurement of nuclear bombs, but it seems very destructive, ecologically speaking, too.
The crux of the problem is the way to support Bitcoin transactions. The blockchain uses the power of a dedicated ASIC to protect the network, and the operation of the necessary algorithms is a process called mining. Then, the miners will receive their own cryptocurrency as a reward.
You already know this, since the first GPU drought hit in 2017, cryptocurrencies have been disrupting PC games. At that time, we called it a “great drought” just because something worse would happen next.
Unlike Ethereum, which makes us dream of an affordable new GPU, the ASIC that makes Bitcoin work is a fixed-function device designed purely to run algorithms in the dark heart of cryptocurrencies. And can’t do anything else. Therefore, when their useful life is over, the only option is to scrap them.
At least the mined GPU may still be able to run a gaming PC. At least for a while.
The problem is that the service life is not long. The study estimated that the useful life of this particular ASIC was less than one and a half years before it could not digest important mathematics at a rate that would make it profitable compared to the energy it needs. The complexity of the algorithm has increased, which means that there is no profit at all from competing at the top of the technology tree, or continuing to support the Bitcoin blockchain.
Due to this relentless hardware loss, the study claimed that “on average, every transaction processed by Bitcoin on the blockchain generates 272 grams of e-waste.” In the absence of silicon, this is a huge amount of technical waste. , On the same blockchain, it is strangely called some kind of savior of mankind, and can be used for anything from currency to art to damn kittens. So yes, 272g, or two iPhones, or one-eighth RTX 3090.
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In any case, this is a lot of waste, a lot of energy, and terrible use of planets. Can we all make calls on encryption? Messing up the Champagne socialists and their exaggerated claims about blockchain freedom, what this might mean, is that there is no benefit to any cryptocurrency except for the convenience of a handful of miners.
Before you propose the proof of stake as a way out, please point me to the final version of the new and highly anticipated version of Ethereum. It was supposed to be released only a few months in May, but it is still nowhere to be found. The damn thing will be forked anyway, so GPU miners can still earn hard-earned money with Victorian stupid currency.