98 Percent of Bitcoin (BTC) Mining Rigs to Become Obsolete

Sun, 03/01/2020 - 08:22
Alex Dovbnya
Outdated Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware will continue creating piles of e-waste, a researcher warns
Cover image via www.shutterstock.com

While Bitcoin mining remains a lucrative industry, its negative environmental impact shouldn't be understated.

According to new research conducted by PWC's blockchain expert Alex de Vries, 98 percent of existing cryptocurrency mining hardware will become useless, and will most likely create massive piles of e-waste. 

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A cut-throat competition 

With constantly increasing hashrate and mining difficulty, the industry is becoming increasingly competitive. After the halving, which is going to happen in about ten weeks, older mining rigs will become obsolete.

TradeBlock recently estimated that the BTC price has to magically shoot up to $15,062 after the supply reduction for mining farms to break even if they upgrade 30 percent of their fleet to Antminer S17+, Bitmain's latest-generation model. 

“The shocking thing is the average lifetime of a bitcoin mining machine is one and a half years, because we have a new generation of machines which are better at doing these calculations," de Vries wrote. 

Annual Bitcoin (BTC) Mining Revenue to Drop to $3.1 Bln After Halving: Report

Tons of trash      

De Vries writes that 98 percent of old mining ASIC miners will go straight to a landfill given that they have only one use case. BTC already produces more e-waste than the whole Luxemburg (more than 10 kilotons in a year), and this number is expected to increase after the halving. 

On top of producing mounts of trash, Bitcoin now consumers more electricity than Chile and one BTC transaction releases more carbon dioxide than 780,650 Visa transactions.  

That's the trade-off for using the first energy-backed cryptocurrency that was predicted by Henry Ford one century ago. 

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.

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