- Bitcoin is not tied to a bank or government and has significantly increased in value for the last few years.
- It has been estimated that more than 60 percent of the processing power used to mine Bitcoin is in China
Bitcoin has been in the news massively these past two years after hitting its an all-time high-value of $20k. Since then, we’ve seen fluctuation, bouts of volatility, price crashes, rises and more but in the end, Bitcoin has only grown since its introduction in 2009.
It is the biggest and most popular cryptocurrency there is out there and such growth has fuelled speculation and debate about the environmental impact that this is having. This is all due to the massive amount of energy that it uses in order to power the digital currency.
Bitcoin is not tied to a bank or government and has significantly increased in value for the last few years.
The concern for the environment stems from the fact that Bitcoin cannot exist without computers, which in turn cannot exist without an electricity source.
Do you understand where we’re coming from now?
The volume of computers needed is on the rise and on a significant level, all thanks to the growing value. Miners will unlock Bitcoins by solving complex and unique puzzles – as the value increases, the puzzles become more difficult, and require more computer power to solve them. It has been estimated that more than 60 percent of the processing power used to mine Bitcoin is in China, where it relies heavily on the burning of coal. Coal is a significant contributor to manmade climate change as it produces carbon dioxide when it burns.
It has been suggested that if Bitcoin miners are using the most efficient machines possible, they could be using 13 terawatt hours, which is about as much as the entire country of Slovenia. These are based on them using the lowest amount of energy possible, but more generous estimates suggest that they could be using as much energy as Ireland, and the problem is only getting worse.
So is the environment getting worse because of Bitcoin?
Yes and no, the environment is getting worse every day from outside sources but Bitcoin’s nature means that yes, it does have an impact. The severity of that impact will differ from different miners though.
By cutting down on your Bitcoin mining you can help improve the state of the world, it might only be a small footprint but if everyone does it, it’s gonna be a big impact.
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