Daily Crypto, Finance, and Tech News Summary – August 22, 2023

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Bitcoin Mining: A Pricey Game Of Compute, Energy And Policy

Once a simple task, Bitcoin mining has grown into an enormous and costly industry, with eye-watering expenses for electricity and hardware.

Data shows that mining a single Bitcoin is the most expensive in Italy, costing a jaw-dropping $208,560. This costliness is due to the country’s high electricity prices and strict rules on energy use.

Even Austria, a country committed to renewable energy, trails closely behind with a mining cost of $184,352 per Bitcoin. This shows that a green energy policy doesn’t automatically mean lower electricity costs.

European countries like Belgium and Denmark, with mining costs at $172,382 and $166,795, respectively, prove that being close to economic hubs and having advanced tech doesn’t always mean cheaper operations.

Germany’s established industrial strength doesn’t save it from a hefty mining cost of $163,337 per Bitcoin.

The United Kingdom has a mining cost of $130,616, reflecting its diverse energy scene and rules to limit energy use.

Interestingly, the Cayman Islands, a well-known offshore financial hub, has a mining cost of $128,222, suggesting a puzzling relationship between tax havens and cryptocurrency mining.

Countries like Lithuania, Netherlands, and Ireland fall in the middle range, with costs from $137,799 to $152,164, showing how energy sources, climate, and government rules can influence a country’s mining competitiveness.

Ultimately, Bitcoin mining’s steep costs in different countries highlight the complex dance of energy prices, infrastructure, and rules.

As the crypto world keeps changing, these insights will likely shape strategies for miners and rule-makers, ultimately molding the future of Bitcoin mining. Read more here.

Future Of Bitcoin Mining And What Emerging Cryptos Need To Solve

The exorbitant cost of Bitcoin mining in countries like Italy and Austria, largely due to high electricity costs and stringent regulations, means miners are continually on the hunt for cheaper electricity, not necessarily more “green” sources of energy.

What’s interesting is a point that is rarely ever brought up:

Who has the cheapest source of energy?

Naturally, this would be those closest to the source.

Currently, these are regions like the Middle East, China and Russia, as these have incredibly cheap and established access to rich sources of fossil fuels.

So, wouldn’t cryptos like Bitcoin eventually find their homes in countries such as these?

Meaning that these nations would become dominant mining, thus transaction-validating participants powering Bitcoin’s operation.

Over time, nations with the cheapest access to energy sources could disproportionally control what is considered valid on Bitcoin’s consensus network, which acts like a voting machine.

Isn’t this a long-term risk to the safety of Bitcoin’s network?

We’re fans of the work done by early pioneers of crypto such as Bitcoin, and while these are interesting observations and trends, the point of this article is to think about where things could be headed with traditional cryptos.

This provides a fundamental differentiating point that emerging cryptocurrencies must solve.

It’s one of the many reasons why the Splitchain network that underpins Zucoins eliminates the need for energy-intensive mining operations.

Splitchain instead focuses on a network where nodes cache data and provide it to peers, dramatically reducing the energy consumption and environmental impact associated with traditional crypto mining.

Contrasted with high mining costs across European countries, like Belgium, Denmark, and Germany, the influence of economic hubs and advanced technological infrastructure on operational costs becomes obvious—these countries can’t compete in popular crypto mining operations.

For a digital-gold equivalent to become truly widespread, as people often compare Bitcoin to gold, any participant should be able to join in to help steer the ship, ensuring it doesn’t get beached. It has to be realistically permissionless.

If Bitcoin’s mining processes become too costly for these countries to competitively join in, then they are effectively placing their trust in another nation’s hands.

This seems to go against the very notion of cryptocurrencies in the first place.

The Splitchain network’s design allows for the use of existing, low-cost infrastructure, such as web-hosting providers, to run nodes.

Such factors position Zucoins as a more sustainable alternative in the crypto landscape, a critical advantage in countries with high energy costs or strict consumption regulations.

Splitchain nodes can operate and participate cost-effectively in essentially any nation that is connected to the internet.

Approaches like these can help keep operational costs low, even in technologically advanced regions, making it a potentially attractive solution for adoption in countries where infrastructure and energy costs significantly influence mining expenses.

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What did you think of this newsletter? Reply to send us feedback on what you liked or want to see featured more. There’s more coming, so stay tuned.

All the best,
Peter & Rob