It was known that China had unleashed for a few months a strong crackdown on mining but also the exchange of cryptos on its territory, some European countries seem to be inspired by this policy and would militate for a ban on mining throughout Europe.
Clean energy diverted from its use by miners?
Indeed, faced with a sharp rise in energy consumption, Swedish authorities are asking the European Union to ban “energy-intensive” crypto-currency mining. The goal being to enable member states to meet their obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement. At the head of this initiative is Sweden, and it’s no coincidence. Electricity prices in Sweden are relatively affordable, thanks in large part to its nuclear ( 39.5% of the need ) and hydroelectric ( 38.7% of the need ) production. But if the energy produced in Sweden is classified as “quasi-clean” (only 1.6% comes from fossil fuels), the country is a major energy consumer, with a consumption 34% higher than in France and Germany, partly because of the cold climate and partly because of its highly developed industry. Variations in its consumption therefore have definite impacts on current climate agreements.
Sweden (and the Nordic countries) as an Eldorado for miners
In recent months, some miners have made Sweden a preferred choice for their development (cheap energy and cold climate). A situation that worries the local authorities. Between April and August of this year, energy consumption related to mining in the Nordic country has increased by “several hundred percent”, and now consumes the equivalent in electricity of 200,000 homes.
Intense lobbying for a ban on mining in Europe
In an open letter, the heads of Sweden’s leading financial and environmental regulators called for an EU-wide ban on crypto-currency mining. A demand that targets Bitcoin and Ether in particular. To make a point the Swedish authorities used strong examples: “It is currently possible to drive a medium-sized electric car 1.8 million kilometers using the same energy it takes to mine a single Bitcoin,” they said. “That’s the equivalent of driving forty-four times around the world, with 900 Bitcoins mined every day. This is not a reasonable use of our renewable energy.” For now the European Commission has not taken a position on the proposal.