The three features of cryptocurrency, including anonymity, adaptability, and security, have endeared it to the commoner. In addition, the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency makes it an ideal replacement for fiat currencies and their drawbacks. As a result, Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most popular cryptocurrencies and the most mined.
The massive amounts of power required for Bitcoin mining have irked environmentalists, and there is increasing criticism on the carbon footprints left behind by BTC mining reports Yahoo.com. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, the mining process accounts for 0.6% of the total electricity consumed in the world. Therefore, it is more than the electricity consumed annually by Norway.
Here are a few more statistics which is a cause of alarm. The total emission of CO2 due to the global Bitcoin mining industry stands at 60 million tons. It equals the exhaust from about nine million cars. In 2019 the figure was 20 million tones. The increasing rate of C02 emission can be attributed to the increase in crypto activities in recent times.
Energy consumption and fruition of cryptocurrency mining
A decade ago, when Bitcoin came into existence, one could mine BTC with a rudimentary setup at home, and the amount of energy required mining BTC was negligible. Today in 2022, one needs an array of highly specialized machines costing thousands of dollars, and energy requirements for mining Bitcoin are also increasing phenomenally.
The process of mining BTC gulps gargantuan amounts of energy, nearly 91 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, more than is used by Finland, a nation of about 5.5 million people. Furthermore, mining bitcoin goes beyond consumption and harmful emissions.
The hardware that goes into BTC mining is often used and disposed of, leading to new levels of creation of e-waste. Bitcoin mining is creating e-waste that exceeds the e-waste of midsize countries, which is certainly not welcome.
Regulation of cryptocurrency mining
China was once the hub of Bitcoin mining but came down heavily and banned cryptocurrency mining over the high energy consumption of electricity involved in cryptocurrency mining. So today, mining activities have shifted to other locations. A similar crisis was faced by Iran, which attracted BTC mining activities dawn by cheap power. However, uncontrolled BTC mining led to power outages, forcing the nation to bring BTC mining activities under regulation.
The European Union has also asked its top regulators to ban a “proof of work” mining method to reduce energy consumption. The power consumption in crypto mining is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Is zero crypto mining energy consumption a reality?
Already alternative sources of energy are being explored by miners. Solar power is touted as an alternative, but cost issues dominate its wider acceptance. El Salvador has deemed BTC a legal tender and has invited BTC miners to use its geothermal power sources for mining activities.
In conclusion, cryptocurrency is here to stay, but it will hinder its wider acceptance unless issues related to mining are not sorted out.
Russia’s Move to Regulate Cryptocurrency Puts Other Nations on Notice
Russia will enact new regulations on cryptocurrency including tax standards, by February 18
Russia accounts for 11% of the BTC mining in the world. So Russia is all set to regulate the cryptocurrency sector reports blockworks.co. Moreover, Russia’s move to regulate the cryptocurrency sector will spur other nations to follow suit.
The Russian Government and Central Bank have drawn up a framework to draft new legislation or amend existing laws to oversee crypto as a currency. The measure will help to cushion the economic impacts of digital assets.
Cryptocurrency will become a part of the present financial regimen
According to Anto Paroian, chief operating officer at digital assets investment fund ARK36, Russia’s action must be seen in the perspective that cryptocurrency is here to stay, and this realization is finally dawning on nations. Cryptocurrency will sooner or later become a part of the present financial regimen. The political and economic costs of banning cryptocurrency are much greater than the inherent risks of the system.
Nick du Cros, head of compliance and regulatory affairs at CoinShares, feels that the measures will signal nations to enact local regulations quickly rather than wait for the big seven to make decisions. Nick talked about the political forum made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US.
US could fastrack its own laws to regulate crypto
Russia giving a “sympathetic” ear to cryptocurrencies, including putting digital assets on its balance sheet, will also pull the US out of its stupor and look closer to the cryptocurrency segment.
Anthony Pompliano, the founder of Pomp Investments, said that there is global competition in developing a decentralized, open system where anyone can access the system. Once your adversary adopts it, you will have no other option but to embrace it.
The US will closely watch the events leading to February 18, when Russia will draw up the legislation about cryptocurrencies. Russia’s central bank last month has proposed restrictions on the circulation and trade of cryptocurrencies. It also proposed to regulate crypto mining. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin supports a plan to tax and regulate mining, referring to Russia’s “competitive advantages” from crypto mining.
American Minorities Could Turn To Cryptocurrencies To Pay Their Bills
The US population contains a large number of crypto holders. The crypto market witnessed a boom in recent years, and despite the recent market crash, digital currencies are likely to increase in worth in the future. Millions of US investors are inclined towards this market due to high returns over a short period. CNBC reports that around 24% of crypto holders are Hispanic. The survey report shows that a large percentage of the minority community has crypto assets; the research shows that minorities can pay their hefty bills in cryptocurrencies due to their diverse investment portfolio.
Majority Of Crypto-Holders Are Minorities
CNBC quoted Charlotte Principato, financial service analyst at Morning Consult, who said, “The majority of crypto owners are white, but they’re also disproportionately Hispanic. There are communities out there that need better ways to pay, and that is one cryptocurrency’s big promises, especially for Bitcoin.” The rise in inflation in neighboring countries will encourage minorities to increase crypto assets. The report suggests that payments in crypto are likely to increase in the coming months. Several digital platforms allow workers to receive their salaries or pay their bills after converting USD into the desired cryptocurrency.
The Crypto Industry Has Grabbed Many Eyeballs
The crypto market is full of risks and potential data breaches, so investors and traders need to remain cautious of providing sensitive information. Bitwage offers a variety of services for efficient crypto transactions. The platform seeks to help investors understand the market pattern and derive optimal profits. Several individuals choose crypto due to its efficient and low-cost operations; the market has recently witnessed a steep rise in investment.
CNBC quoted Ben Weiss, CEO of CoinFlip, who said, “Whether you’re unbanked or not, whether you’re investing or not, we want to be there for the average person to get crypto. We don’t want to see the same issues of wealth inequality.” Millions of global investors need to ride the volatility and huge risks associated with unpredictable returns. Several investors prefer long-term investments over day-to-day trades; this ensures a significant return despite the current ups and downs.
Cryptocurrency rules and scenario in different European Nations
Cryptocurrency has increased and has intruded into every aspect of commerce. It has been least regulated and often tainted by fraud, money laundering, and hacks — it has often felt like a complete free-for-all.
However, in recent times, efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies are on, and authorities in Europe are finally taking steps to rein in the industry.
The approach to regulating crypto has been varied and ranges from banning crypto ads in the UK and Spain to tighter background checks in Estonia to a largely hands-off system in Switzerland and Malta reports sifted.eu.
For the fans of cryptocurrency, bitcoin, Ethereum, and other coins are the ultimate store of value equivalent to gold. However, to detractors, cryptocurrency is another bubble waiting to burst. Skeptics say that the investor will lose all his money sometime in the future.
Regulators want to crack down on crypto companies, especially those which invest heavily in advertising and creating hype. So Europe is perfecting a methodology that will make it easier to trace crypto payments and prevent money laundering in Brussels.
Estonia-From open door policy to restricting crypto-activities
Estonia was the first nation to grant crypto licenses. It attracted substantial initial interest. Estonia has since revoked almost 2,000 of these, and only around 400 licensed companies remain. It is alleged that billions of Euros in dirty cash had floated through the Estonia-based bank branch of Denmark-based Danske Bank from 2007 to 2015 in one of the largest illicit money scandals. After this scandal, Estonia tightened its rules for cryptocurrencies.
Spain-Rules for Crypto adverts
As such, Spain has no specific rules on cryptocurrencies. However, it is imposing restrictions on social media influencers’ crypto promotion. The latest rules specify those influencers and their sponsors to pre-notify a stock market supervisor of some posts and to warn of crypto’s risks or face fines. Fines for non-compliance could reach €300k.
EU –Making Crypto more traceable
European Union regulators want to make crypto more traceable. Any entity that transfers crypto assets will have to collect details of senders and recipients to help authorities crackdown on dirty money. A bill is also in the offing which seeks to outlaw anonymous crypto wallets just as anonymous bank accounts are already banned under EU anti-money laundering rules. The law will apply to 27 EU states.
The UK-Adverts under watchful eye of FCA
The UK, like Spain, had scant regulations but has started to apply rules. All crypto adverts will have to be approved by Financial Conduct Authority. Thus the UK will designate crypto akin to financial promotions for stocks and insurance products, with possible fines of severe breaches.
Sweden-Wants its own CBDC
This nation is terrified that cryptocurrency will replace Krona. As a result, the government has fast-tracked the development of its own central bank digital currency. Sweden’s Riksbank, the world’s oldest central bank Governor, is highly skeptical about Bitcoin, and the country has also called for a European ban on energy-intensive bitcoin mining.
Switzerland-Rolling the red carpet
While other nations are thinking of curtailing the crypto sector, the Swiss are keen to promote it and gain a prominent crypto fintech. As a result, Swiss regulators have worked faster than their counterparts and perfected a completely new crypto legal regime last year, recognizing “tokenized securities” on a blockchain as having the same legal standing as traditional assets.
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