Cryptocurrencies overload the electricity grids in the Chouf

New trend of the moment, cryptocurrencies seduce the Lebanese public. In some villages, the mining activity of these cryptocurrencies is such that it overloads the electrical networks.

The leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Joumblatt, denounced on Tuesday the excessive consumption of energy “in the villages of upper Chouf which benefit from electric current”. “Some individuals consume a lot of energy at the expense of ordinary citizens, because they make bitcoins and have nothing to do with the general interest,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

A similar case was observed last February in the West Bekaa. A unit of the office for the fight against financial crimes under the judicial police then carried out a series of searches in cryptocurrency mining centers, which were the cause of major power cuts.

Indeed, the installations necessary to be able to “mine” cryptocurrencies are very energy-intensive. These are kinds of computers made up of chips programmed especially for the activity of mining cryptocurrencies. These devices working at 100 per hour need constant air conditioning to avoid possible overheating. Mining machines also need 24-hour power. Ditto for the Internet connection.

Therefore, these devices can be very dangerous. The machines and the wifi are equipped with UPS to avoid a possible interruption of their work in the event of a power cut and therefore to avoid the computer bug. This is not the case with air conditioners. Thus, in the event of a prolonged power cut (a fairly common phenomenon in Lebanon), the machines overheat. This presents a fire hazard.

Focus on cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, Tether,…), is a form of digital or virtual currency, which uses cryptography (writing technique where a secret message is written using secret codes or keys encryption, Editor’s note) to secure transactions. These currencies do not have a central issuing or regulatory authority, but they use a decentralized system to record transactions and issue new units. It is not physical money transported or exchanged in the real world: the payments are purely virtual entries made in an online database and corresponding to particular transactions.

Cryptocurrencies work according to a system of recording information, called blockchain, which makes them difficult or impossible to modify, hack or deceive. The blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions, duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems. Cryptocurrency units are created through a process called “mining”, which involves using the power of computers to solve complicated mathematical problems that generate coins. Users can also buy the coins from brokers and then store and spend them using crypto wallets.

Cryptocurrency mining has two purposes: to generate new tokens (or new currencies) and to verify the legitimacy of the transactions of these cryptocurrencies on their blockchain. So when a miner completes the verification process for a block of transactions, they receive compensation: brand new tokens. This will replenish its portfolio and increase the total number of tokens in circulation.

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Cryptocurrencies overload the electricity grids in the Chouf

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