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Bitcoin Mining Could Be Banned In Europe, If Sweden Has Its Way

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Bitcoin Mining Could Be Banned In Europe, If Sweden Has Its Way

Sweden’s financial supervisory authority and environmental protection agency have hit out against crypto mining and cryptocurrencies as they threaten the country’s progress towards climate change obligations. 

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It’s no secret that, while cryptocurrency has the potential to generate significant wealth for its proponents, mining this type of money affects the environment greatly. A recent report found that each $1 of bitcoin value created in the United States in 2018 incurred about $0.49 in health and climate damage, too. That’s a long way of saying that the negative human health costs and climate impacts of bitcoin mining roughly removed half of the value of the product. 

This guy managed to lose the password to his hard drive that contained $240 million in bitcoin. Don't be this guy.

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“At a time when financial regulators ought to be doing everything possible to help tackle the climate crisis, it’s clear that the status quo of letting bitcoin and other cryptocurrency miners pollute our climate and communities at an exponential rate is unsustainable, unwise and in need of urgent action,” said Patrick Drupp, deputy legislative director of the Sierra Club, in a letter to Congress. 

So, it’s not overly popular with people who like living on our planet. Speaking specifically about Sweden, the energy consumption of mining in the country surged "several hundred per cent" from April to August this year, according to the directors of the financial supervisory authority and environmental protection agency. Their concern is not only for the country as they have written an open letter requesting all of the members of the European Union to ban crypto mining and prevent companies that trade and invest in crypto assets from calling their commercial activities “environmentally sustainable.”

The leaders in question, Erik Thedéen and Björn Risinger, talked to Euronews to explain why Sweden was an attractive location for crypto miners to set up shop. Since 2014, over half of all energy consumption in the country has been generated by renewable sources and a third of all of its electricity is supplied by nuclear power. "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,” read the letter.

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“This is the equivalent of forty-four laps around the globe. 900 bitcoins are mined every day. This is not a reasonable use of our renewable energy,” concluded the two directors. China is no longer accepting any crypto-related transactions, so it’s possible that Sweden, and a few other countries in the European Union, will follow suit. 

Featured Image Credit: Alesia Kozick via Pexels

Imogen Donovan
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