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Dogecoin Creator Admits He ‘Didn’t Consider’ Environmental Impact Of Cryptocurrency

by : Julia Banim on : 14 May 2021 18:42
Dogecoin Creator Admits He 'Didn't Consider' Environmental Impact Of Cryptocurrency Marco Verch (CC-BY-2.0)/Flickr/elonmusk/Twitter

Dogecoin creator Billy Markus has admitted he ‘didn’t consider’ the environmental impact of cryptocurrency.

Many investors were left surprised after Elon Musk – who is often nicknamed ‘the Dogefather’ – spoke out about the environmental impact of cryptocurrency.

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In a tweeted statement, Musk revealed that Tesla would no longer be accepting Bitcoin for vehicle purchases, expressing concern about ‘rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel’.

Musk wrote:

Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.

Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transactions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.

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Markus – who tweets under the name Shibetoshi Nakamoto – replied to this with a crying face, later clarifying this meant that ‘aw man, you right, environment stuff’.

When asked whether he had considered the environmental impact before creating the coin, Markus explained:

I made doge in like 2 hours I didn’t consider anything.

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Created as a ‘joke currency’ back in 2013, Markus helped to establish the technical foundations that allowed Dogecoin to work on a practical level.

In a follow-up tweet, Musk revealed he would be ‘working with Doge devs to improve system transaction efficiency’, a development that he described as ‘potentially promising’.

According to the website Digiconomist, just one bitcoin transaction uses the same amount of power as the monthly energy consumption of an average American household. Bitcoin is also responsible for approximately one million times more carbon emissions than is emitted during a single Visa transaction.

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The annual carbon footprint of Bitcoin is comparable to that of Singapore, while the annual electronic waste produced is similar to that of Luxembourg.

CEO of leading cryptography firm IOHK, Charles Hoskinson, told The Independent:

Bitcoin’s energy consumption has more than quadrupled since the beginning of its last peak in 2017 and it is set to get worse because energy inefficiency is built into bitcoin’s DNA.

Bitcoin’s carbon footprint will get exponentially worse because the more its price rises, the more competition there is for the currency and thus the more energy it consumes.

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Analysis from the University of Cambridge suggests that Bitcoin uses more than 121 terawatt-hours (TWh) every year, which – if it were a country – would place it in the highest 30 electricity consumers in the world.

The energy demands have reportedly been fuelled by the rising price of Bitcoin in recent months, which has seen it soar from below $5,000 (£3,600) in March 2020 to nearly $50,000 today.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, Elon Musk

Credits

Elon Musk/Twitter and 3 others
  1. Elon Musk/Twitter

    @elonmusk

  2. Digiconomist

    Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

  3. University of Cambridge

    Total World Production & Consumption

  4. The Independent

    ‘I MADE DOGE IN LIKE TWO HOURS’: DOGECOIN CREATOR SAYS HE ‘DIDN’T CONSIDER’ ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT