The bitcoin can affect the thermostat of the planet ? As incredible as it may seem, some researchers from the University of Hawaii think so. Their work was published in the very serious journal Nature. And they are cold in the back : if bitcoin is adopted massively, explain these experts, its energy consumption would be such that it could raise the temperature of the earth is two degrees ! Too spectacular to be true ? To see the light on energy expenditure related to bitcoin, we interviewed Adli Takkal Bataille, President of the association, The Circle of the corner, co-founder of the consulting firm Catenae and co-author of the book the Bitcoin metamorphoses : gold crazy gold digital, released on Wednesday.

The EXPRESS. In your book, you say that the development of bitcoin requires a great expenditure of energy. You confirm therefore the existence of a problem, related to the operation of this virtual currency ?

Adli Takkal Bataille. The bitcoin consumption, it is a fact. This is due to the process of validation of the transaction, which requires a high computing power. But, at the risk of being provocative, a dishwasher consumes him too. And nobody finds fault. What I mean by this is that few people take the bitcoin for what it really is, that is to say a service, with an energy cost associated with it. We can, however, use currency exchange or a store of value as gold. The services rendered by the bitcoin requires minimal energy when compared to other. Some of the research work to assess the electrical needs of its ecosystem to 3.6 million gigajoules per year. For comparison, the extraction of gold would require ten times more energy. And what about the banking system ? His needs amounted, according to some experts, 2340 million gigajoules ! A big figure. But one wonders about the energy efficiency of our financial institutions.

Either, but can we dispense with the big computing power that you mention ? No are there not other ways to post transactions in bitcoins ?

there’s a lot of research and development on this issue. We talked a lot, for example, the “proof of stake”, a system for the validation of transactions based on deposits of crypto-currencies. In theory, this could replace the mine, which is to mobilize the power of calculation to ensure the functioning of the bitcoin network. But there’s a catch : the “proof of stake” is not sufficient to protect the registry that contains the transactions of any big attacks. In fact, whether we like it or not, mine remains the best system from the point of view of safety. With him, the transactions cannot be tampered with. This would require the implementation of a huge computing power, representing at least 51% of that of the whole network. A strike force almost impossible to mobilise.

But if the bitcoin were to be adopted on a massive scale and that the blasting continues, the energy bill is envolerait. On this point, experts from the university of Hawaii were not wrong.

These researchers assume that the system bitcoin is not evolving. However, it is quite the opposite. There are not more than 10% of the lines of codes that formed the bitcoin to the origin. Let’s not forget that the purpose of minors is to earn money. Gold the price of bitcoin has significantly dropped in recent months. This encourages them to settle in places where the electricity price is low, but also to gain efficiency. Thus, the power consumption per committed transaction has dropped significantly in recent months. Better, more and more minors use the surplus of energy in hydroelectric dams, as in Canada. Eventually, some may even become self-sufficient in energy !

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The EXPRESS : The bitcoin is not going to kill the planet ?

Stop believing that bitcoin is going to vampiriser the electrical network as a whole world. If the energy is too expensive, the miners débrancheront machines. Similarly, if the system requires too much current, the Member will stop to provide the juice for this type of activity. There are forces of a reminder, both real and those. And so much the better, because the bitcoin is here to stay even if it is of good tone to predict his death. We remember the report Théry 1994. The latter, noting the success of the Minitel, claimed that the Internet would play a minor role in the future. Do not fall into this kind of error in judgment once more.