Dane Marciano, CEO of Affidaty S.p.A
Giovanni Capaccioli, R&D of Affidaty S.p.A
The sustainability issue is delicate and has been ignored until the major player, the miners, started using Bitcoin and other blockchains.
Without their contribution, the blockchain, as it was designed, could not exist, since they do the concrete work. The miners, as we learned, are those who lend the computing power of their PCs to conduct the complex operations of opening and closing a block, securing the transactions and achieving consensus.
These procedures require time and computing power, and this implies costs for miners. They pay for the energy used, and then there is the constant hardware manutention and replacement on top of which they compete against each other.
Moreover, it has to be considered that mining has been continuously growing, to the extent that the Big Whales, the giants of the market, developed in the direction of shared mining, or mining pools. These are real places where hundreds, or thousands, of physical mining machines which can be related to different users around the world. They work together to have better chances to earn from finding, opening, closing a block and sharing with its transactions inside.
The energy consumption related to mining has skyrocketed lately. Digiconomist published an assessment on energy consumption, stating that, surprisingly, Bitcoin and Ethereum require as much energy as a country like Syria.
Let’s see some more examples:
- 14,5 TWh consumed by the whole Bitcoin ecosystem (the same as Turkmenistan which counts 5 million people);
- 4,7 TWh consumed by Ethereum ecosystem (equivalent to the consumption of Malta which has 3 million inhabitants);
- ISTAT and municipality of Milan: Milan uses 12 TWh, 2/3 of the whole crypto mining scenario
These are a few explanatory examples examined by authoritative sources, but lead to reflect constructively on positive elements and to develop new tests, studies and new ways of implementing alternative or parallel technologies, to tackle the issues that emerged over the years.
That’s why many are studying and testing different implementable solutions to apply to the existing blockchain technologies or ways to improve them, aiming at providing new solutions.