Sweden Against Mining: “If Europe wants to respect the climate accords, they must ban crypto”
Swedish authorities call upon the European Union to ban “energy invasive” crypto mining
In the past few weeks, Swedish authorities, including Erim Thedeen, director of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, and Bjorn Risinger, director of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, have called upon the European Union to ban “energy invasive” crypto mining is they are to respect the Paris Climate Agreement.
Both individuals have been outspoken in calling for an end to “proof of work” cryptocurrency mining and for companies that trade and invest in crypto assets to be prohibited from describing their activities as environmentally friendly.
Delving into hw crypto mining works paints a clearer picture as to why they are calling for this halt. In crypto mining, as a Euronews piece put it: “Computers must solve mathematical puzzles in order to validate transactions that occur on a given network. The process is designed to become more difficult as the number of blocks of validated transactions in the chain increases. meaning more computer power - and therefore energy - is required.”
But why has Sweden seen an increase in crypto mining recently? Experts believe the answer lies primarily in China’s recent crackdown on crypto, by which any process of trading or issuing of virtual tokens, as well as the running of any crypto-exchange businesses, has been banned. In addition, minersa and producers are also attracted by the relatively low energy prices and abundance of renewable electricity that is found throughout Scandinavia.
In numerical terms, between April and August, “the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining in Sweden rose ‘several hundred percent’, now consuming the electricity equivalent of 200,000 households”, or roughly 1 Terawatt hour (Twh).
As crypto mining in the country increases, Sweden’s renewable energy sources are diverted from other industrial and social uses, with Thedeen and Risinger saying that it is “urgently required for the development of fossil-free steel, large-scale battery manufacturing and the electrification of our transportation sector.