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Cryptocurrencies are about a major contribution to the transformation of the existing financial system. They can dramatically change the world and be of great benefit to humankind. But looking for benefits mustn't do harm to the environment.
We've taken up this theme for a reason. It is indeed possible to do harm. In fact, harm is already being done. Do you want to know in what way? By traditional mining, which is necessary to maintain the Bitcoin network, and thousands of other Proof-of-Work-based cryptocurrencies.
Negative impact of traditional mining
In order to maintain the Bitcoin network or other PoW-based cryptocurrencies, miners have to solve complex computational math problems — by doing so they verify the authenticity of transactions and add valid ones to the blockchain. This process is dubbed mining and requires extensive computing resources.
The need to compete to solve a mathematical puzzle and receive a reward makes people use more and more powerful equipment. This is how new bitcoins are generated. With the cryptocurrency boom, harmless mining on computers turned into an endless race among miners. Today miners not only buy high-performance computers. Some miners create farms consisting of energy-consuming ASIC devices while others use huge plants to mine bitcoins.
A mining farm consisting of thousands of ASIC devices. Source.
As you know, intensive computing power requires elevated power expenses and leads to air pollution and a waste of natural resources. This poses a serious problem. Nowadays electric power stations, which are thermal power plants (TPP), burn fossil fuel, such as coal or natural gas, to produce electricity.
This process causes CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions which adversely affect the biosphere — mining contributes to the greenhouse effect which heats the planet up. This consequently causes a global warming effect with its associated impacts on the environment and may pose threats to life on the planet. What is more, every minute we are breathing the same polluted air, thereby being at risk of a bunch of diseases and complications. All these factors shorten life expectancy for us and our children. Air pollution cause a great deal of premature deaths
The more carbon dioxide gets into the environment, the more harm it does. Carbon dioxide is a harmful by-product of industrial activity. The biting irony is that we use natural resources to generate these emissions, and these resources have limits too. Traditional mining significantly exacerbates the global problem and the situation has been deteriorating in recent years.
The effects of carbon footprint are already being felt
There are, undoubtedly, a lot of other factors that cause global environmental degradation, but the impact of mining should never be ignored. Bitcoin mining is estimated to produce as much carbon dioxide as that produced by industries of Estonia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Jordan, or Sri Lanka.
The entire bitcoin network is responsible for 22-22.9 million tons of CO2 per year — just think and try to imagine how much it is. Chinese miners represent about half (47%) of emissions. In China energy is cheap as it's produced by coal-fired thermal power plants. Once we add emissions produced by mining other cryptos, the numbers will double!
Powerful mining equipment. Source.
Two years ago, Nature Research journal published an article regarding Bitcoin emissions. It said: "We cannot predict the future of Bitcoin, but projected Bitcoin usage, should it follow the rate of adoption of other broadly adopted technologies, could alone produce enough CO2 emissions to push warming above 2 °C within less than three decades." Two years later, we can see the researchers' concerns had the ground — digital gold keeps to be mined with the same enthusiasm as well as the planet keeps to be polluted. "It [Bitcoin] alone could produce enough emissions to raise global temperatures as soon as 2033, " warn a group of researchers.
As an alternate solution, miners are encouraged to use renewable energy (wind, solar, etc.) — which can make bitcoin mining more environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, renewable energy sources account for just a small share of global energy which makes them impossible to be used widely. Moreover, in the pursuit of profit, miners don't seem particularly eager to get rid of profitable equipment which cost them a fortune.
Nonetheless, the fact that modern cryptocurrencies disapprove environment-damaging mining lets us hope for the early improvement of the situation. UMI is one of these cryptocurrencies.
UMI is a green cryptocurrency based on smart contract
Not all cryptocurrencies use computing power to generate new coins. For example, there are cryptocurrencies based on Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and Proof-of-Authority (PoA) technology. UMI is just like that.
As a substitute for mining and to incite users, UMI uses Staking Smart Contract which allows generating new coins with no energy expenses and powerful equipment. No waste of natural resources. Staking technology is perfectly safe for the planet. This is the latest technological development loop of crypto industry.
UMI can be definitely called an environmentally friendly cryptocurrency as it has no negative impact on the environment. Today this is of greatest importance for all of us. UMI staking neither endangers human health nor harms the environment. In other words, we are protecting the planet and all the people that inhabit it. This is something we can be really proud of. Because the environment influences our health, and good health is the most important thing in life.
As a final note, we would like to say that adhering closely to their ideology, the UMI team collaborates only with environmentally conscious partners who are concerned with the protection of the natural world. This was the main reason for choosing the ROY Club as our partner. We are certain this will be productive cooperation which will make this world a better place.
Join in and invite all your friends — together we can create new UMI coins using eco-friendly staking and care for our planet!
Best regards, UMI Team!
Most financial services that DeFi offers already exist in the real world. So why does it need to be on a blockchain?submitted by mickhagen to genesisblockhq [link] [comments]
This is the final post of Crypto-Powered — a new series that examines what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
Earlier in this series, we looked at some of the most promising DeFi use-cases already in the wild. We explored categories like lending, investment, insurance, stablecoins, payments, and more. And before that, we gave a primer on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi (decentralized finance).
So now that we’ve gone a little deeper down the crypto rabbit hole and we’ve done this whirlwind tour of DeFi, the natural next question is: why does any of it matter?
Most of the financial services offered by DeFi protocols already exist in the real world. So why does it need to be decentralized or on a blockchain? What’s the big deal?
Today we go through 10 points that highlight the magic of DeFi, and why it matters. And hopefully, it becomes clear just how big of an unfair advantage this technology is for Genesis Block. It’s our superpower as we compete against big banks and fintech unicorns. Alright, let’s dive in!
1. Global Pipes & BridgesIn traditional finance, each country or region has its own currency, infrastructure, and regulations. With blockchain technology and more specifically DeFi, the world is instantly connected. These decentralized protocols serve as the pipes and plumbing that plug the different economies together.
The internet completely broke down the walls & borders for information and news. DeFi is doing the same thing, but now for money, commerce, and financial markets. We’re now part of a global, digital marketplace that can finally transact with each other— there’s a common set of rules and protocols that transcend cultures, languages, and borders.
Jack Dorsey recently shared his own bullish insights on this future.
2. Efficient Markets & LiquidityWhile the crypto ecosystem is still small when compared to traditional financial markets, it is growing quickly. As participation continues to mature, it will unlock enormous liquidity in the global markets.
Imagine the possibilities for mostly illiquid markets like real estate, collectibles, or private company stock.
This creates new opportunities for people. Imagine a farmer in Mexico helping a young family in Florida buy their first home. Or a coal worker in China participating in micro-finance loans in Africa. With liquid markets, they can easily swap in and out of investments depending on their financial situations. They won’t have to worry about long periods of no liquidity — which traditionally only favored the wealthy.
Additionally, more liquid markets lead to great efficiencies. Defi, like the internet before, reduces transaction costs to the bare minimum — just the tech/infrastructure costs. The high cost of participation is removed.
This new, unlocked liquidity will lead to a much more efficient, vibrant, and healthy global economy.
3. Earning Opportunities & Value CreationBasic crypto allows you to move and store value. With many of these DeFi protocols, you can actually create and earn value. You can share in the upside and success of these new micro-economies by earning tokens for your contributions.
For example, with DeFi protocols like Maker or UMA, you can be rewarded for voting and participating in high-level protocol decisions. With Synthetix, Compound, and Uniswap you can be rewarded for providing liquidity to the network. With Cosmos or Tezos (and soon Ethereum), you can be rewarded for helping keep the network stable and secure.
These new decentralized protocols and the work required to grow and cultivate them can be incredible earning opportunities for people all over the world. Value isn’t just moving, it’s being created and growing. This is an entirely new paradigm for work and earning income.
It’s actually really incredible to think about.
4. Equal Access & Economic FreedomBecause DeFi protocols are decentralized and on a blockchain, there are no gatekeepers. No government or bank or corporation can censor these protocols. Everyone has equal access.
You can be a user who needs financial services. You can be an entrepreneur who has a great idea and decide to launch your own protocol. You can be a worker who wants to earn income by helping and contributing to these new micro-economies. All options are available. Nobody can stop you.
People all over the world — whether from a favela in Rio or living under oppression by an authoritarian regime — can participate in this new, digital, permissionless global economy. This creates more economic freedom, which changes the world.
5. Composability & InteroperabilityMany of these DeFi protocols leverage other DeFi protocols. They are like lego pieces — you can mix, match, connect, combine… and create an entirely new, exciting thing! This is called composability and it’s one of DeFi’s greatest strengths.
As Genesis Block decides to add additional features (more financial services), it becomes much easier because most of these protocols are modular and integrate nicely.
6. Regulatory WindowsWhile cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is starting to become more regulated in developed countries, many of these newer decentralized technologies have not, like DeFi (financial services built on smart contracts).
This technology is at the bleeding-edge of innovation. It’s a new frontier that is being explored and developed at an incredibly fast pace. As a result, most governments around the world have not yet fleshed out how or if it will be regulated. For many countries around the world with fewer resources and less-developed regulatory infrastructure, it would be dizzying to even try.
This creates a unique window of opportunity for builders and entrepreneurs. They won’t get bogged down by some of the outdated laws that slow them down in legacy finance.
For updates on crypto regulation in the US, CoinCenter is a great resource. So far, US regulatory focus has just been on cryptocurrency or securities more generally.
7. Decentralized GovernanceThe companies behind top DeFi protocols like Compound and Maker have relinquished their power and turned it over to the community. The community of token holders are now in charge of proposing, approving, and voting for decisions and updates in the protocol. This is called decentralized governance.
Of course, not all protocols are truly decentralized in their management or governance. But this is a trend we’re seeing more and more of. This more democratic style of governance creates a system of checks and balances, hopefully leading to a more stable, secure, and resilient protocol.
There’s a great post recently from Jesse Walden where he describes this as The Ownership Economy.
8. User Interface FlexibilityBecause these protocols are low-level, there can be a variety of product experiences, interfaces, and designs built around them. It’s similar to interacting with web APIs, except these are smart contracts on a blockchain.
If you don’t like the design of an app that interacts with a specific protocol, you can build your own.
9. Transparency & AuditabilityThese protocols are on the blockchain for anyone to inspect, analyze, and review. This transparency can create more trust and confidence for users. Anyone can discover a bug or whistle-blow malfeasance.
In the real world, bank customers typically have no idea what’s happening under the hood. It’s a complete black hole. In DeFi, the code is open-source. You can verify it’s doing exactly what they say it is.
10. Autonomous & Open 24/7While the developers can sometimes update the protocol or fix a bug, these decentralized applications are not managed day to day by a company or its employees. These smart contracts run independently and automatically on the blockchain — enforced by policies and rules written in the code. DeFi protocols aren’t closed on weekends or bank holidays.
Can you imagine a bank that was run by robots and open 24/7. That’s DeFi.
Hopefully, it’s becoming crystal clear that a crypto-native company — if it can substantially leverage these game-changing DeFi protocols — will win the consumer finance market. It will disrupt Wells Fargo, Goldman, and Bank of America. It will become the bank of the future.
Which crypto-native company is best positioned to win? Who can abstract away the complexity, deliver a world-class product experience, and take it to the world?
We obviously believe it’s us at Genesis Block. Time will tell.
I hope your imagination is running wild with possibilities like mine is. The potential of this tech is incredible. When you consider both the broad spectrum of financial use-cases that DeFi offers and the enormous value that is unlocked through these protocols (as outlined in today’s post), you can see just how big of an unfair advantage this is for Genesis Block.
As long as we’re building on this foundation, we’re out here playing 3d Chess while big banks & fintech companies are playing Checkers.This is mic-drop weaponry. These are superpowers. This is what it means to be a digital bank that’s powered by blockchain technology and decentralized protocols. This is what it means to be crypto-powered.
Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Download the app. We're a digital bank that's powered by crypto: https://genesisblock.com/download
What is mining, or more specifically, cryptocurrency mining (crypto mining for short), and why is it important? Most cryptocurrencies, especially the ones based on the idea of the blockchain digital ledger (or just the blockchain in crypto parlance), utilize the process of so-called mining to verify payments and add transactions to the blockchain. There are many forms of mining, but what is common to all of them is intensive power consumption. And to say that crypto mining is power-hungry would be an understatement of the century.submitted by Stealthex_io to u/Stealthex_io [link] [comments]
Conventional vs. Alternative Energy SourcesIt’s not a secret that most of crypto mining facilities are located in China. But what is less known, though, is the fact that some of these facilities are still powered with electricity generated by burning fossil fuels such as coal. And while the share of coal in the nation’s energy mix has been steadily declining since 2010, it still accounts for over half of the Chinese total energy production. Coal in China is thought to be a major contributing factor to global warming, and crypto mining powered by coal-derived electricity can hardly be considered eco-friendly as it directly translates into massive carbon pollution on a world scale.
These issues force the top industry players to look for alternatives to conventional sources of energy that would not only make their mining farms and energy-thirsty rigs bring home more money but also reduce the negative impact of crypto mining that it has on the environment. There are many renewable energy sources that are currently available to miners. The ones that can be usefully utilized in crypto mining are solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. Once an energy source has been procured, it all comes down to the question of whether it is more profitable to use this energy for mining, or simply sell it to the grid.
With Bitcoin prices rising, many green energy producers have become interested in crypto mining due to numerous benefits it offers, with the revenue flow being neither the last nor the least of them. Sometimes the profits generated by crypto mining surpass the wholesale energy prices by thousands of percent. Quite naturally, it is hard to ignore such profit opportunities, apart from the warm feeling of using a green and eco friendly energy solution. This is reported to be the new norm among many energy producers, whatever their source of electricity might be.
For example, a lot of European solar energy producers are now looking into mining operations as an alternative to selling the energy to the grid for the simple reason crypto mining allows them to earn more when the energy prices are low as has been the case in recent years. Apart from earning via crypto mining, they also save enormously on energy costs incurred by purchasing electricity from the grid for everyday needs. Despite the initial costs, the cost reduction over years can be a crucial factor in turning to solar power for crypto mining operations.
Windy places are not uncommon on planet Earth, and Texas is one of such places with installed wind power capacity exceeding 28 gigawatt, mostly in West Texas. It’s little wonder it has attracted a number of high-profile mining businesses such as Bitmain as well as a bunch of notable venture capitalists looking for investment opportunities in Bitcoin mining arena. For example, Bitmain opened a mining facility there in past October, which the company was going to scale up shortly. A few big names in tech investing, including the PayPal cofounder, financed a crypto mining startup, Layer1, which also launched a mining operation in West Texas.
Just like with solar and wind energy production being a viable economic solution in countries with copious amounts of sunlight and wind, nations that boast vast hydroelectric capacities such as Brazil, Canada, Russia, and, ironically, China offer very cheap electricity rates to businesses, especially those next to hydroelectric facilities. It comes as no surprise that many crypto mining operations gravitate toward cheap sources of hydroelectricity, and are deployed in regions where cheap hydroelectric power is just around the corner.
Hydropower offers the lowest cost of electricity worldwide by and large, and it also turns out to be renewable as well as clean and green. These two factors make it hands down an energy source of choice for crypto mining operations. As just one illustrative example, the Siberian city of Bratsk has become home for the largest data center in the post-Soviet states, which entered into operation a little over a year ago. Dubbed BitRiver, it now serves clients from every quarter of the world, while its facilities are primarily used to mine Bitcoin – thanks to cheap electricity supplied by the nearby hydroelectric powerhouse built by the Soviets in 1960’s.
Iceland is likely not the very first location that comes to mind when the topic of crypto mining is brought up. However, the country has turned out to be a mecca for crypto mining due to its naturally low temperatures and amazing amount of easily accessible geothermal energy that provides power to big mining farms at virtually no cost. The country has surplus of electricity at extremely low prices, which comes from its geothermal, magma-fuelled powerhouses with no carbon footprint. As it stands today, crypto mining operations on this remote North Atlantic island use more electricity than all Icelandic households combined.
The Future of Crypto MiningThe takeaway from the above is that crypto mining energy needs will most likely keep on surging in the coming years, and still more so if cryptocurrencies continue on their path toward mainstream adoption and widespread acceptance. This results in serious concerns about the sustainability of the effort over the long run, both in terms of its negative environmental impact and sheer energy consumption. In light of these developments, the direction cryptocurrency mining will be taking in the near future is arguably further toward energy solutions alternative to conventional ones, especially those based on non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels, and, more generally, toward more eco friendly crypto mining – at least as long as mining profitability is maintained.
Original article was posted on https://stealthex.io/blog/2020/06/09/cryptocurrency-mining-powered-by-alternative-energy-sources/
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Similar scenario, different pace of recovery. After the 2013 China Bitcoin ban, the return to its previous value took a couple of years, and in 2017, it took less than two months. Some say, the rise of the BTC price after the ban happened because China’s public mood has shifted. Chinese people decided to do something directly opposite to the requirements of the state. When cryptocurrencies ... Miners in China benefit from very low energy prices - partly due to an abundance of cheap but dirty coal - and the presence of many of the major mining pools, which help ensure steady income. A relatively consistent cash flow helps miners budget for operating expenses, market fluctuations, and the inevitable hardware upgrades required every year or two to stay competitive. This shows the ... In life, they say that you can only rely on death and taxes. While this may be true, I’d like to propose a third: that China will always be the Bitcoin mining capital of the world. In fact, it controls up to 80% of the world’s total hash rate, is responsible for manufacturing the vast majority of mining equipment and is home to some of the world’s largest mining farms. Coal is the cheapest power source but also the dirtiest. It’s well-known that China has comparatively lax environmental policies. Major cities like Beijing are notorious for their high levels of smog, produced mostly by burning coal. Energy producers can freely burn coal and use the energy for Bitcoin mining. Instead of physically transporting the coal, it’s easier and more cost-effective ... Bitcoin in China: Live CNY Price, Best Exchanges, Taxes, and History. China has having an on-off relationship with cryptocurrency in general. In 2013, the government declared Bitcoin as a virtual commodity while allowing citizens to participate in online trading. Since 2017, China has taken a more strict strict stance on cryptocurrency due to investor protections and financial risk prevention ...
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This is the May 17, 2018 FULL EPISODE of VICE News Tonight on HBO. 1:54 The Philippines is the only country in the world - besides Vatican City -where divorc... Three Gorges Dam collapsed, bitcoin mining company unemployed, Chinese economic downturn. Accident at Mamiao Coal Mine, Sichuan, China - Duration: 5:33. Rob Dickinson Recommended for you. 5:33. A 360 tour of a giant Chinese bitcoin mine - Duration: 2:29. Quartz 15,516 views. 360° 2:29 ... --China's National Energy Administration will put $361 billion into renewable power by 2020, contributing to about half of the new electricity generation and creating approximately 13 million new ... On October 9-11, 2019, the 21st China Mining Conference and Exhibition will open in Tianjin Meijiang Convention Center. Since its start in 1999, China Mining...