Energy consumption of Bitcoin mining has been the most important topic in the media the last couple of weeks. After Elon Musk announced that Tesla will refrain from accepting BTC due to its environmental impact, the whole market tanked.
Can Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies even reduce their environmental footprint? And what needs to change?
China bans Bitcoin mining
China has a history of so-called Bitcoin bans. The truth is that Bitcoin and the industry evolving around it has never been unregulated in China. From time to time the regulation gets adjusted and usually certain business conduct that is unwanted gets prohibited.
In late May 2021 China was going against Bitcoin miners, because of the energy consumption and the emissions that Peking seeks to reduce in general. The news was one of the reasons why the prices plummeting even more within a very short amount of time.
Make Bitcoin green again
One of the concerns is that mining will always require huge amounts of energy that need to be used. With that in mind, some people came to believe that it could be possible to change Bitcoin entirely and use proof of stake instead of proof of work.
The problem is that Bitcoins security and thus its value is highly depended on the fact that it takes a lot of resources mining it. It is not a bug. This is a feature. Most Bitcoiners reject the idea of changing BTC in this regard and it is highly unlikely that the mining industry will be in support of such a ground-breaking change. And with nobody in support of the idea it is not possible to change Bitcoin unless one would like to create another fork of it.
Green energy is the solution
Changing Bitcoin in this regard is not feasible. At least at the moment and there is a good reason for it. To reduce the environmental footprint of Bitcoin and proof of work in general, miners need to opt for green energy.
Consumption is not so much of a problem if energy is green. In the end of the day it is worth to point out that everything comes with a price and an environmental impact. Bitcoin is not only hard money. It supports the idea that people around the world can freely transact. And the value of this technology is beyond its energy consumption.