Cryptocurrency and blockchain news platform The Daily Chain interviewed Alejandro De La Torre, Vice President of multi-currency mining pool Poolin, last month on the global impact of cryptocurrency mining. De La Torre expressed his opinion on several issues regarding the environment and centralization.
Centralization of mining pools
The Daily Chain addressed the view of critics who argue that cryptocurrency mining is centralized by a couple of big mining pools. De La Torre considers this view ridiculous as he argues why. He explains that it takes approximately five minutes for a miner to join a mining pool and that every miner that joins a pool is also free to leave again.
The VP of Poolin also argues that it does not matter that mining pools are centralized services. According to De La Torre the miners in the pools are able to direct their produced hash rate somewhere else, outside of the pools. On top of this, the miners connected to Poolin are physically situated all over the world; as opposed to the centralized pooling service.
The interviewer of The Daily Chain also addressed the environmental impact of mining in light of a German leftist party that suggested to ban cryptocurrency mining and the much talked about speech of 16-year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
When De La Torre was questioned about the efforts of mining facilities to operate in a sustainable manner he managed to put things in perspective. He pointed out that the majority of people assess the energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining without making a proper comparison to other technologies, mentioning that people tend to wave aside the energy consumption of consumer electronics that are on stand-by or do not fully realize the magnitude of the energy that is required for our traditional banking system. As he explains, there is more to it than mere transaction costs. What about buildings, computers, network and employees that consume energy?
De La Torre also points out that miners are continuously looking for the cheapest electricity prices, saying that some of them already energy derived from renewable sources.
Apples to oranges
We wrote about comparing energy consumption before. The energy consumption of Bitcoin and therefore the energy consumption of mining has quite often been compared to the energy consumption of countries. Vice argued that in the year 2020 Bitcoin could consume as much energy as Denmark and The Verge has compared Bitcoin in a similar way to Switzerland. Even comparing Bitcoin to VISA has to be done with great caution. As it happens, VISA relies on a lot of third parties to operate, and these third parties also consume energy. Want to read more about these comparison? Check our article titled Bitcoin and mining are energy efficient alternatives.
Did the interview with De La Torre make you interested in mining pools? Then make sure that you are making a well-informed pick. We wrote some articles that might help you get started. Read more on how to pick a mining pool and more about the three biggest bitcoin mining pools on the planet.