European Cryptocurrency Powerdrain Blamed For Slowing Clocks

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 14:01
Darryn Pollock
From harming the environment to wrecking the gaming industry, Bitcoin miners are now being blamed for slowing time
European Cryptocurrency Powerdrain Blamed For Slowing Clocks
Cover image via U.Today

Bitcoin mining has made its presence felt in a number of areas and especially countries with cheap electricity. But now, after being blamed for harming the environment, interfering with UFO hunters, and stealing graphics cards from the gamers, Bitcoin mining is being blamed for slowing time.

In central Europe currently, something strange is going on, as clocks are starting to slow down by as much as a minute. This has led to some blaming large-scale crypto mining for the problem, but is it just another convenient scapegoat?  

Overclocked miners

The Continental European Power System has reported, since Mid-January, that this time keeping anomaly has been happening. It is a huge region that covers countries running across Europe from Spain to Turkey.

They have reported a “continuous system frequency deviation from the mean value of 50 Hz” reports the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The location of the disturbance has been identified, Kosovo and Serbia, but the cause has not.

Essentially, there have been power deviations which have had negative and weird knock-on effects which have caused clocks that calculate their time along the same frequency to slow and delay the reading of the correct time.

Still, it is mostly unclear how this delay really manifests itself, but the evidence is there to show that there is a massive power drain in this area. It is being clocked at  113 GWh, which is equivalent to the power consumption of Greenland for six months.

Power hungry miners?

Because the source of this problem has been linked back to this massive power drain, there is insufficient evidence but high speculation, that it has something to do with the mining of cryptocurrencies which have become so popular in recent times. 

Electricity rates in Serbia and Kosovo are among Europe’s cheapest, and as this is the pinpoint of the problem, the speculation continues to be rife.

About the author

Darryn Pollock is an award winning  journalist from Durban, South Africa. He picked up Vodacom’s Regional Sports Journalist Award in 2017 while expanding his Blockchain and cryptocurrency reach.  He is a contributor to Forbes, Cointelegraph, Binary District, and of course, U.Today. Darryn’s belief is that Blockchain technology will be the driving force of the next technological wave and it is the obligation of journalists and writers to tell its emerging story with integrity and pride.