Bitcoin miners guzzle through the double the electricity consumption of Scotland in cryto-currency gold rush (but not here as it’s too costly!)

Racks of power-hungry processors are used in the bitcoin data mining block-chain.
Racks of power-hungry processors are used in the bitcoin data mining block-chain.

While crypto-currency miners currently use double the electricity consumption of Scotland from a global perspective, the UK is facing next to no issues with the phenomenon

The high-tech capitalists making millions from mining are doing so in countries like Iceland because buying energy in Britain costs too much.

And crypto-currency miners are not a major risk to Britain’s electricity infrastructure, says the National Grid after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney blasted consumption rates branding them “enormous” and called on regulation of the currencies which he described as ‘speculative mania’.

Carney said: “The costs of Bitcoin mining are enormous. Its current annual electricity consumption is estimated by some to be up to 52 terawatt hours – double the electricity consumption of Scotland.”

A spokeswoman for the National Grid revealed however that while the service operator is monitoring the rise of the phenomenon that “future growth” in the UK is not expected to be significant despite fears.

The National Grid said: “At present, their mining is not a major contributor to demand in GB.

“Any GB cryptocurrency demand would likely appear as a small component within the data centre element of our Industrial and Commercial electricity demand modelling (data centres themselves perhaps accounting for only around maybe 1% of total GB demand although data is limited).

“Whilst cryptocurrency mining is clearly growing at a fast rate globally, the miners are likely to be most attracted to countries with the very lowest electricity prices and so future growth in GB is not currently expected to be significant.

“However, whilst we have no immediate concerns in relation to GB electricity demand, it is an area that we actively monitor as part of our electricity demand modelling in our Future Energy Scenarios.”

David Merry, chief executive of Investoo Group, which owns crypto-coin exchanges, said: “Crypto mining is huge in Iceland and in countries like China it is fast becoming a tool to make money for those able to do so.

“Cost of electricity varies widely from country to country and while the UK is not the most significant in terms of cost in Europe, it’s certainly up there.”

The news comes as the issue of mining is also hot on the agenda in France where a company has invented a heater which pays for itself by mining coins.

19 Mar 2018

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