MicroStrategy CEO and Bitcoin megabull Michael Saylor is engaging in a friendly twitter battle with reporter Adam Samson, who challenged Ark Invest crypto analyst Yassine Elmandjra’s assessment that the majority of Bitcoin miners utilize renewable energy.
Samson utilizes an infographic from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance to illustrate why Elmandjra’s statistic may be misleading, pointing out that the majority of energy derived from the process comes from non-renewable mining rigs.
Saylor quickly came to Bitcoin’s defense after Samson shared the graphic and posted an article for the Financial Times berating Bitcoin for its hefty energy use.
“Bitcoin is electric money. Real cars use more electricity than toy cars… Bitcoin is the most efficient technology for converting energy into prosperity we have yet to devise.”
Ethereum (ETH) creator Vitalik Buterin is also weighing in on the debate. He says that Bitcoin (BTC) could be left behind due in large part to environmental concerns.
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum currently use the proof of work (PoW) consensus mechanism, which requires significant computational power, but unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum is switching to proof of stake (PoS) in its upcoming upgrade, which will dramatically reduce its energy use.
In a new interview with CNN, the Russian-Canadian programmer discusses Ethereum’s upcoming switch to the PoS consensus mechanism, which is far less tested than Bitcoin, but is designed to make the blockchain more efficient and reduce transaction costs.
“We go from consuming the same energy as a medium-sized country to consuming the same energy as a village.”
Buterin says billionaire Elon Musk’s remarks about the carbon footprint of mining the coin are understandable.
“I definitely think [those concerns] are real. The resource consumption is definitely huge. It’s not the sort of thing that’s going to break the world by itself, but it’s definitely a significant downside.”
Buterin says he expects there will be more calls for Bitcoin to switch to proof of stake or a hybrid of the two mechanisms.
“If Bitcoin sticks with its technology exactly as it is today, there’s a big risk it will get left behind.”
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