Crypto

Bercy is interested in the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies – L’AGEFI

French and European crypto players represented by Adan (Association for the Development of Digital Assets) were welcomed into Bercy on Tuesday. The purpose of this meeting was to prepare the publication of a report scheduled for November next year “on the development of cryptocurrencies, their problems and their current and future impact on the environment”, as stated in Article 27 of the law of November 15, 2021 “to reduce the impact of digital technologies on the environment in France”.

War of Numbers

“The meeting went very positively. The challenges facing the sector and the reality of environmental impacts have become better understood. We have gone far beyond the usual clichés,” says Adana President Faustin Fleuré. To our knowledge, Burcy will seek to map the environmental impacts of bitcoin mining in particular, as existing data on the subject is inaccurate or considered biased.

In March last year, as part of the MiCa (Crypto Asset Market) negotiations, an amendment was adopted proposing to ban the “proof of work” (PoW, from “proof of work”) system on which Bitcoin is based, caused an uproar in the cryptosphere. He was finally called back. Representatives of the crypto-ecosystem close to the issue condemned the “inaccuracy” of the sources cited by some MEPs. They mainly targeted the controversial Digiconomist website, founded by Alex de Vries, who, among other things, worked for the Dutch central bank.

Two other sources are regularly cited. The Bitcoin Mining Council, an organization founded at the instigation of one of Bitcoin’s most ardent advocates, Michael Saylor, whose figures claim that more than 60% of the electricity used to mine the cryptocurrency queen is produced from green energy. Then a tool offered by the University of Cambridge that estimates bitcoin consumption at 94 terawatt-hours per year. A figure that allows detractors to compare its consumption with consumption in a country like Sweden or Ireland.

French and European miners defend themselves by reminding that there is no physical platform for bitcoin mining in Europe due to the high cost of electricity, the price of a kilowatt-hour exceeds 20 euro cents, and in order for their activity to be profitable, miners must produce electricity at a price less than 10 euro cents per kilowatt hour.

Another sensitive topic regularly brought to the fore is the disposal of mining equipment and, above all, ASIC miners, computers specifically designed for bitcoin mining. According to Digiconomist, the life of this equipment will not exceed eighteen months. While French miners interviewed by L’Agefi claim that this data is “inaccurate” as some ASICs can operate for at least four to six years after being put into operation.

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