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Cryptocurrency: Should Bitcoin mining be curbed in Europe? Swedish authorities say yes – ZDNet

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‘It is currently possible to drive a mid-size electric car 1.8 million kilometres using the same energy it takes to mine one single Bitcoin,’ regulators argue.
By Owen Hughes | November 25, 2021 | Topic: Finance
Following a crackdown in China, Sweden has seen a sharp rise in crypto production, which is tapping into its renewable energy resources.
Swedish authorities have called for an EU-wide ban on energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining, which they say threatens targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
In an open letter to the European Union, Erik Thedéen, director of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, and Björn Risinger, director of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, warned that the mining of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum had sparked an increase in energy consumption in the country amounting to “several hundred percent”.
This cryptocurrency mining is increasingly drawing on Sweden’s renewable energy sources, which Thedéen and Risinge say is “urgently required for the development of fossil-free steel, large-scale battery manufacturing and the electrification of our transport sector,” as well as other essential services.
SEE: What is crypto? The business starter guide to cryptocurrency
China’s recent cryptocurrency crackdown – which includes an outright ban on any activity relating to the issuing or trading of virtual tokens or the running of cryptocurrency-exchange businesses – has seen producers turning their attention elsewhere.
This includes the Nordic region, where prices and taxes are more favourable and there is a plentiful supply of renewable energy to tap into. 
“If we were to allow extensive mining of crypto-assets in Sweden, there is a risk that the renewable energy available to us will be insufficient to cover the required climate transition that we need to make,” Thedéen and Risinge warn.
The letter specifically calls for a Europe-wide ban on the cryptocurrency mining mechanism known as “proof of work”, which involves contributing computer processing power to solve mathematical puzzles on the network and validate transactions on the blockchain.
On the Ethereum network, the computational efforts required to perform transactions are known as ‘gas’, the cost of which is set by the miners according to the supply and demand on the network. The more powerful the computer, the more likely a miner will receive a coin.
But this process also demands a huge amount of energy. According to Thedéen and Risinge, electricity consumption for Bitcoin mining in Sweden now amounts to 1 Terawatt-hour (TWh) annually – equal to the electricity required to power 200,000 households.
“It is currently possible to drive a mid-size electric car 1.8 million kilometres using the same energy it takes to mine one single Bitcoin,” they say. “This is the equivalent of forty-four laps around the globe. Nine-hundred Bitcoins are mined every day. This is not a reasonable use of our renewable energy”.
SEE: Supercomputing can help address blockchain’s biggest problem. Here’s how
A number of policy options are proposed by Thedéen and Risinge to curb energy-intensive crypto mining, including taxes on cryptocurrency production and better communication about its environmental impact. However, they note that neither of these options are like to tackle the immediate problem, particularly “given the rapid growth and demand for crypto-assets.”   
The letter, therefore, calls on the EU to introduce measures to halt crypto-mining production that use energy-intensive methods, and for legislation to prevent companies that trade and invest in crypto-assets to describe themselves or their business as environmentally sustainable.
While this could lead to crypto-producers relocating to countries with a friendlier stance on cryptocurrencies but little or no access to renewable energy sources, Thedéen and Risinge say “it is important that Sweden and the EU lead the way and set an example in order to maximize our chances of meeting the Paris Agreement,” and they call on other global authorities to follow suit.
They add: “A ban on the proof of work mining method within the EU could be an important first step in a global move towards a greater use of more energy-efficient crypto mining methods.
“It would also mean that our renewable energy is used as efficiently as possible in order to support the transition towards climate neutrality.”
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Crypto Podcast: Potential BTC Price Bounce and NFT Theft – Coindesk

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Crypto Podcast: Potential BTC Price Bounce and NFT Theft  Coindesk
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Crypto Airdrop: What's an Airdrop and Why Crypto Airdrops Are Issued – Coindesk

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Foundry launches a BTC mining rig marketplace with over 40k units – Techstory

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The Bitcoin mining industry is booming as the overall network hashrate continues to increase. This has been used as a good opportunity by Foundry to launch a BTC mining rig marketplace. The mining rig marketplace is called the Foundryx and has over 40,000 mining units for resale. They also have their own mining setups, which contribute 16.8% to the total BTC hash rate. This also makes them the largest miner as per hash rate, followed closely by AntPool.
The company has been making money by employing the mining rigs themselves and selling them as well. This makes it really profitable for them. In August 2020, the digital currency group invested $100 million in the company. Foundry was just a year old when this investment was made, and they have been working in the BTC mining industry ever since. Their new marketplace is also a step in the right direction as it offers much-needed rigs in the market,
Foundry USA launches BTC mining rig marketplace
The company is already the largest individual contributor of the BTC hash rate with 29.83 EH/s. And now, they are planning to use the company’s robust shipping and logistic units to reach customers who purchase from their new mining unit marketplace. I think their profits are going off the charts with this new business idea.
One very important thing to note here is that the BTC mining rig marketplace has units for resale. This means it doesn’t sell new devices. The mining rigs have been used before and hence will be available for cheaper rates. Additionally, the current supply chain issues and chip shortages have increased the demand for used rigs. Currently, there aren’t many used rigs resellers in the market that can be trusted properly, but with Foundryx, the trust factor is there. This is why they are planning to become a properly trusted secondary marketplace of BTC mining rigs. It is also important to note that Foundry has also been launching staking services on 20 different networks, which will be yet another important business for them.
What are your thoughts on Foundry USA launching a used BTC mining rig marketplace? And do you think it will take off due to the current shortage of chips and rigs supply? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative, do like and share it with your friends.
Also Read: Metaverse will be a multitrillion dollar market, says Cathie Wood.
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