Swedish regulators believe that Proof-of-Work mining of BTC and other cryptocurrencies will prevent the country and the European Union from complying with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
In a joint statement, the head of the Financial Conduct Authority, Eric Tedeen, and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Bjorn Reisinger, called for a ban on the mining of digital assets in this "energy-intensive way."
The officials noted that at the current market value, cryptocurrencies lead to emissions of up to 120 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. That is equivalent to the carbon footprint of 100 million roundtrip flights between Sweden and Thailand.
According to them, attention to the topic of environmental friendliness of mining has led to the fact that more and more miners are exploring the possibility of using renewable energy sources. Due to the availability and low prices for it in Scandinavia, many of the industry participants are considering relocation to the region.
Since April in Sweden, electricity consumption for mining has increased by hundreds of percent, and in August, the figure reached 1 TWh, the heads of departments indicated. They believe that using renewable energy to mine cryptocurrencies is unwise.
“This energy is urgently needed to develop fossil-free steel, large-scale battery production, and the electrification of our transportation sector,” they said.
Thedeen and Reisinger referred to data from the University of Cambridge. According to them, the electricity used for the extraction of one bitcoin is enough to drive 1.8 million kilometers in a medium-sized electric vehicle.
“There are other mining methods that can also be used for BTC and ETH, estimated to reduce energy consumption by 99.95% while maintaining functionality,” they stressed.