Cryptocurrency mining has come under fire recently because of the shear amount of electricity that it requires. This has led to reports suggesting that Bitcoin mining is bad for the environment, and will consume more energy that most US households combined.
However, according to the National Grid, mining cryptocurrencies is not a problem for the UK. Despite the number of miners in the UK, they pose ‘little to no threat’ to the country’s supply chain. As well as crushing the suggestion that mining is a great threat to the electricity task, they also point out that the electricity network is not particularly accommodating when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies because of the rising electricity prices.
This reports comes after the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney stated that the cost of mining Bitcoin are enormous, which goes against what the National Grid are saying. Energy usage is increasing, but it is not a problem for the infrastructure right now. The National Grid released a statement saying;
“Any GB cryptocurrency demand would likely to appear as a small component within the data centre element of our Industrial and Commercial electricity demand modelling (data centres themselves perhaps accounting for only around maybe 1% of total GB demand although data is limited). Whilst cryptocurrency mining is clearly growing at a fast rate globally, the miners are likely to be most attracted to countries with the very lowest electricity prices and so future growth in GB is not currently expected to be significant.”
There is no saying whether we will see an increase in mining in the UK, and it would be very unlikely that the government will reduce electricity costs to accommodate this. However, it does show that mining cryptocurrencies might not be a damning as we first thought.
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