The efforts and gains made so far in cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions seems to be threatened by the growing amount of electricity that Bitcoin mining consumes, this is according to one academic.
Dr. Jon Truby, the director of the Center for Law and Development at Qatar University noted that Bitcoin was developed with no thought given to its environmental impact and thus it ‘threatens our existence’. Truby as such calls for intervention towards preventing similar blockchain technologies from being developed.
Truby believes that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies cannot just be erased and hence it is essential for future models of their original technology to use environment-friendly designs.
“The problem will only worsen. The higher the value of Bitcoin, the greater the incentive to mine, and new digital currencies will be developed with similar carbonized models…” wrote Truby. “However, as the underlying technology can offer significant benefits, it is here to stay, so future models must be designed without reliance on energy consumption so disproportionate to their economic or social benefits.”
The suggestions he made urging towards blockchain technologies that are more environmentally-friendly were made in a paper Truby authored titled “Decarbonizing Bitcoin: Law and policy choices for reducing the energy consumption of Blockchain technologies and digital currencies.”
In the paper, Truby proposes the introduction of regulations which stop developers from creating blockchain technologies that surpass a certain amount of carbon emissions per gigahash. In addition to using regulations to incentivize the usage of less energy intensive blockchain systems, Truby also suggested the use of alternative fiscal tools such as academic research funds, government grants or creating a business friendly safe space for developers of environment-friendly blockchain solutions.
Truby also proposed the introduction of policies geared towards limiting the type of devices used in Bitcoin mining. This could include taxes such as value-added taxes being imposed on less-efficient Bitcoin mining systems.
“The goal of any intervention focused upon the machinery would be to indirectly impact upon the behavior of developers, motivating them to amend the model of existing and particularly future systems towards a less polluting and more sustainable transaction verification model,” argues Truby. “It could also motivate manufacturers of such devices to produce low energy versions.”