What is Bitcoin Doing to the Environment


    Bitcoin has become one of the greatest phenomena of the past year or so, with meteoric price increases happening everyday. The consumption of bitcoin has or will exceed the GDP of some of the largest countries in the world, which is quite an amazing feat considering the price of the coin was under $1,000 only a year prior.

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    One of the biggest issues with bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general seems to be the fact that it takes an incredible amount of energy to produce and to use. The way that bitcoin is created is through the process of mining. When transactions are made on the system, they are verified by individuals who are known as miners. These miners solve computational problems on extremely high powered computers that when solved, put through the transactions as well as reward the miner with the cryptocurrency that they are mining.

    The issue with mining is that these advanced forms of cryptocurrency mining take a large amount of energy to produce. The energy consumption is not a large amount when on a small scale, but due to the popularity that cryptocurrency has received, it has become quite a poignant issue in the world of tech. A report done recently stated that “Bitcoin miners will consume an estimated 8.27 terawatt-hours per year. That might sound like a lot, but it’s actually less than an eighth of what U.S. data centers use, and only about 0.21 percent of total U.S. consumption.

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    It also compares favorably to the currencies and commodities that bitcoin could help replace: Global production of cash and coins consumes an estimated 11 terawatt-hours per year, while gold mining burns the equivalent of 132 terawatt-hours.”

    The hopes are high that the issue of pollution can be one that is solved on a quick basis.


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