Increasing Efficiency of Bitcoin Mining Hardware; An Investigation of Governmental and Utility Policy Regarding Cryptocurrency Mining

McDaniel, Jacob, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
JACQUES, RICHARD, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Bloomfield, Aaron, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

This paper seeks to bridge insights from a technical report on the enhancement of Bitcoin mining hardware and a sociotechnical study on cryptocurrency mining policies. By integrating these perspectives, we aim to understand the multifaceted relationship between technological innovations and regulatory frameworks within the cryptocurrency mining sector.

The research paper investigates global cryptocurrency mining policies, focusing on the environmental and economic implications of mining practices. It explores how governments in countries like China, Kazakhstan, and the USA have approached cryptocurrency regulation, highlighting the varied impacts of these policies on the environment and the mining industry. The study underscores the need for balanced regulatory strategies that mitigate environmental damage while harnessing the economic benefits of the mining industry.

The technical report details my development of software that counters planned obsolescence in ASIC Bitcoin miners, enhancing their efficiency and extending their operational lifespan. By optimizing operational parameters such as voltage and frequency, the software reduces power consumption and increases profitability, thereby contributing to environmental sustainability by decreasing electronic waste and energy usage.

The research paper and the technical report are intrinsically connected through their focus on the sustainability and efficiency of cryptocurrency mining. The technical innovations described in the report provide a practical solution to some of the environmental challenges highlighted in the research paper. Moreover, the potential policy implications of adopting such technologies could influence future regulations, promoting more sustainable practices within the industry while also considering the socio-economic impacts. This synthesis underscores the importance of integrating technological advancements with thoughtful policy-making to address both the environmental and economic dimensions of cryptocurrency mining.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Cryptocurrency Mining, International Policy, Electric Utilities

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Technical Advisor: Aaron Bloomfield

STS Advisor: Richard D Jacques

Technical Team Members: Jacob McDaniel

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