Sweden calls for Europe to ban crypto mining over environmental concerns

midian182

Posts: 7,293   +65
Staff member
A hot potato: The price of cryptocurrencies keeps on rising, and while that's good news for miners, it means more people jumping on the bandwagon, which equals more energy being spent on mining the likes of Bitcoin. Sweden considers the environmental impact of this activity so severe that it wants to ban it entirely in Europe.

Euronews reports that two directors of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, Erik Thedéen and Bjorn Risinger, said that rising crypto mining in the country and the subsequent increase in energy usage threatens its ability to meet targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Therefore, they suggest banning proof-of-work crypto mining across Europe, and for Sweden to prevent the establishment of new crypto mining operations and for companies that trade and invest in crypto assets to be prohibited from describing themselves as environmentally sustainable.

The pair said that the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining in Sweden went up by several hundred percent between April and August and now consumes the equivalent electricity of 200,000 households.

"Crypto-assets are a threat to the climate transition – energy-intensive mining should be banned," the regulators said in a statement. "The University of Cambridge and Digiconomist estimate that the two largest crypto-assets, Bitcoin and Ethereum, together use around twice as much electricity in one year as the whole of Sweden."

Sweden has relatively low electricity prices thanks to its focus on using renewable energy sources. Ironically, it's these low costs that are attracting miners and having an environmental impact. The problem has worsened since China declared all crypto illegal a few months ago, forcing miners to relocate elsewhere.

It's not just crypto mining that impacts the environment. The average NFT, which everyone seems to be embracing these days, has a carbon footprint equivalent to more than a month of electricity usage for the average person living in the European Union.

Not everyone agrees with the Swedish watchdog's assessment. Paris-based alternative investment firm Melanion Capital said (via Cointelegraph), "The claim that Bitcoin miners jeopardize the electricity network is completely misinformed."

"The absence of such a political counterbalance [for Bitcoin miners] should not be taken as an opportunity to implement measures rendering illegal an industry for its lack of defensive powers."

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,338   +2,625
People will just mine illegally.

It's not terribly hard to imagine they'll just move to somewhere in Russia. Running a mining operation illegally is probably not too easy since you tend to notice small shops or small houses using as much energy as a large industrial plant.

Not that I think they necessarily need to go as far as Russia I'm sure other officials closer by in Eastern Europe can be bribed to allow them in or turn the other way too.
 

dangh

Posts: 329   +465
It's not terribly hard to imagine they'll just move to somewhere in Russia. Running a mining operation illegally is probably not too easy since you tend to notice small shops or small houses using as much energy as a large industrial plant.

Not that I think they necessarily need to go as far as Russia I'm sure other officials closer by in Eastern Europe can be bribed to allow them in or turn the other way too.
that's fine, but banning BitCoin from EU would mean this currency will not have a value there. How long americas and russia be able to keep this value high enough?
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,338   +2,625
that's fine, but banning BitCoin from EU would mean this currency will not have a value there. How long americas and russia be able to keep this value high enough?
Russians, not long at all.

Americans however, well *that* is your biggest issue: Americans can't even get Texans to stop trying to jail women who have miscarriages how are they ever going to get those rogue States to comply with a ban on cryptos?
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,418   +3,530
It's not terribly hard to imagine they'll just move to somewhere in Russia. Running a mining operation illegally is probably not too easy since you tend to notice small shops or small houses using as much energy as a large industrial plant.

Not that I think they necessarily need to go as far as Russia I'm sure other officials closer by in Eastern Europe can be bribed to allow them in or turn the other way too.
Those with mining farms could get tracked down probably easily but I'd bet most people mine casually with a couple of rigs in their homes. In places like Eastern Europe the amount of money you can earn mining is nothing to sneeze at.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,338   +2,625
Those with mining farms could get tracked down probably easily but I'd bet most people mine casually with a couple of rigs in their homes. In places like Eastern Europe the amount of money you can earn mining is nothing to sneeze at.
That's just not true at all: We've seen the warehouses with thousands of GPUs this is not a problem of a few people mining with 10 cards at home: that's like assuming the issue is these 10 grains of sand we've found on a beach with tons of the stuff.
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,842   +1,662
Will the world to be populated by vagaries of varieties of bitty coins and eth-er-ah-um-iums? I might just invest a dollar into hogwasherium, just for the thrill of having my little piece of the cryptocurrency universe. However, the tendency to create varieties may prove to be the downfall of this tower (like the Tower of Babel and the results of many languages - Gen 11:1-9).
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,452   +3,783
that's fine, but banning BitCoin from EU would mean this currency will not have a value there. How long americas and russia be able to keep this value high enough?
No... it will have even MORE value... Bitcoin's (and every other cryptocurrency's) value does not depend on physical location - nor does it depend on borders...
 

dangh

Posts: 329   +465
No... it will have even MORE value... Bitcoin's (and every other cryptocurrency's) value does not depend on physical location - nor does it depend on borders...
yet Chinese ban negatively affected its value for short moment. If financial institution in EU wouldn't accept BC anymore that would result in reduction of potential value.Obviously human traffickers or drug lords will be able to keep it up.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,452   +3,783
yet Chinese ban negatively affected its value for short moment. If financial institution in EU wouldn't accept BC anymore that would result in reduction of potential value.Obviously human traffickers or drug lords will be able to keep it up.
The NEWS of it decreased its value for maybe a week... now the value is just as high as ever... and that was when arguably the 2nd most powerful (and MOST populous) nation in the world banned it...

The EU can ban it if they want... it will have a minimal short-term effect, and have zero impact long term.
 

BadThad

Posts: 737   +834
This exposes the insanity of the environmental psychos. The consequences of pushing an agenda is wrought with unforeseen consequences. You you one dimensionally push ANYTHING, you later realize maybe it wasn't the best idea!
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,452   +3,783
Would certainly be interesting to find out how many trees, metals, etc - not to mention electricity - are expended making "regular" currencies...
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,075   +6,376
"The University of Cambridge and Digiconomist estimate that the two largest crypto-assets, Bitcoin and Ethereum, together use around twice as much electricity in one year as the whole of Sweden."

The way I see it, the fact no recent reports have been done on this says a lot.
I'm willing to wager it doesn't even weigh in.