Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. Since its emergence in the digital asset market back in 2009, numerous other creators have followed in its footsteps, designing cryptocurrencies of their own. In this sense, BTC has acted as a veritable blueprint for the digital asset world. In its absence, crypto coins and tokens wouldn’t exist, as Bitcoin is the first to use the blockchain in order to create a trading ecosystem.
To trade Bitcoin, investors are operating via the means of specialized exchanges, such as Binance. The platform hosts numerous coins and is one of the most reliable places to discover the current Bitcoin price. Before you commence any undertaking in the crypto world, it’s vital that you remember to check the values consistently. Failing to do so can result in a significant loss of capital.
The coin had come a long way since its first days when its value was well under one dollar. Currently, Bitcoin is the uncontested ruler of the digital market world, with a market capitalization level approaching $400 billion. To put it into perspective, Ethereum, the altcoin that enjoys the privilege of being the second most popular crypto in the world, has a market cap level that’s less than half the value of BTC. In 2022, however, the world of cyber currencies was rocked to its core in the aftermath of successive price drops. Bitcoin itself was hit quite hard, but investors remain optimistic that the situation will improve sooner rather than later.
Moreover, concerns about environmentalism have raised the question of the sustainability of Bitcoin since mining, the complex process through which new coins are issued, is known to be a considerable energy consumer. So, what are the countries that have decided to fill in the position of crypto mining hotspots? And how do they plan to address the issues regarding the environment?
Essentially, Bitcoin mining refers to complex computer programming schemes. Specialized computers solve complex mathematical problems that initiate the creation of new coins and support the continuation of transactions on the blockchain. Anytime a problem is solved, the result becomes secured on the network and generates a new “bit” as a result. When creating the source code back in 2008, Satoshi Sakamoto instilled a hard cap on Bitcoin of precisely 21 million Bitcoin.
This means that production will stop after 21 million coins have been mined. This relative scarcity, compared to altcoins that have no hard cap value ingrained in their code, has given Bitcoin the demonym “Digital Gold”. The fact that there will always be no more Bitcoin mined at some point in the distant future makes digital currency all the more valuable. It also means that as mining industries continue to grow in efficiency, the miners’ job is also becoming increasingly difficult.
To meet the demands of mining, a country requires a significant amount of space to host computer equipment. Maintenance is also necessary, with a considerable energy source, a very stable internet connection and air conditioning for the equipment being the chief requirements. Energy consumption is becoming a matter of increasing concern among miners since while the required levels decreased back in 2021, they skyrocketed to a new peak by January 2022 and have remained here ever since.
When it comes to countries that mine crypto, the situation is a little complicated. While some nations have embraced the technology, others have banned the mining process and cyber money altogether. Among the countries that have taken steps to outlaw cyber money are Egypt, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia and Algeria. One notable example is China, which banned crypto in September 20211, which changed the global mining map significantly.
Iceland is one of the best options for Bitcoin mining, as it has high internet speeds. Electricity costs are also cheap in the country since 100% of the nation’s electricity supply comes from geothermal plants and hydroelectric dams. These factors have made Iceland one of the most popular destinations for crypto mining ventures, with 8% of all Bitcoins having been mined there. It also helps that there are no particular restrictions placed on cryptocurrency mining.
Norway is another excellent option. The Scandinavian nation has been dubbed the “green oasis” by investors. It contributes close to 1% of the global hash rate of BTC. When it comes to electricity, Norway is heavily reliant on hydroelectric power. The climate is also very forgiving for mining, as the lower temperatures allow the equipment to remain cool. While the country doesn’t officially recognize crypto, it also doesn’t stop its citizens from investing and owning digital money.
Kazakhstan is also home to some of the largest Bitcoin mines in the world. The most significant is in the city of Ekibastuz, in the far northeast of the country. The close border with Siberia means the weather conditions are perfect for mining. Around 50,000 computers are dedicated to the task, and the miners work 12-hour shifts, making Kazakhstan a leader in the industry. Here, mining is powered by coal.
As countries adapt and develop various approaches to approach and regulate cryptocurrencies, miners and mining hubs must keep up with the changes. Ideally, mining stations should soon begin to focus on finding renewable energy alternatives. The blockchain should also be upgraded so that it can be used using a smaller amount of energy to perform the same tasks. The best part of it is that the process will never stop. Mining can be carried out anywhere in the world, provided that its minimum requirements are met accordingly.
Given increasing concerns regarding sustainability, it’s not a stretch to imagine that from here on, Bitcoin mining will develop in accordance with the availability of a country to provide clean, green energy sources that can power mining. Finding ways to adapt to these factors can make or break the reputation of some countries as places where BTC is mined consistently. And although it may seem like there’s still a while to go until Bitcoin is powered by fully green power, the truth is that change might come sooner than we expect.
Ruby is a content editor and writer who has been creating content in the finance space for 4 years. Ruby attended the University of Winchester where she received an upper second-class honors degree.
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