Is Proof-of-Work crypto mining still sustainable? While Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, uses it, some industry players believe it is unsustainable. One such player is Chris Larsen, who believes that the technology is now outdated. He argues that Proof-of-Work is a significant contributor to carbon emissions, and in a world that is struggling with climate change, this is unsustainable. Larsen notes that with Bitcoin adoption on the rise, the use of PoW in generating new Bitcoins was counterproductive.
Larsen also notes that at the moment, viable alternatives to PoW exist and should be adopted. He makes a note of the federated consensus that XRP has been using since its inception. He also makes a note of Binance Coin, whose version of PoS has been quite successful. Larsen is also full of praise for Ethereum for its bold move from PoW to PoS with the launch of Ethereum 2.0.
If current statistics are anything to go by, then Larsen has a point. Bitcoin mining currently uses about 132 TWh annually. This generates more than 63 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. While there are other proof-of-work coins in the market, Bitcoin is the largest consumer of energy, accounting for 98% of the energy used in crypto mining.
It will be interesting to see if Bitcoin could ever migrate to PoS mining. Besides the community, it could be a technical challenge while retaining the integrity of the Bitcoin network as it is today.