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Bitcoin Devours More Electricity Than Many Countries

by : Daniel Richardson on : 14 May 2021 09:31
Bitcoin Devours More Electricity Than Many CountriesPA/Pixabay

Bitcoin has been found to require more electricity than some whole countries use.  

Bitcoin may have seen its value increase in recent years, but many are concerned about the electricity required for the currency. So much so, that the amount of electricity used by the cryptocurrency is being monitored alongside countries.

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While a digital currency doesn’t sound like it should require too much electricity, the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) has shown the practice actually requires rather a lot. This is because the mining of cryptocurrency needs a significant amount of computing power.

Bitcoin electricity consumption chart (Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance)Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF)

The findings of the CBECI note that Bitcoin would be the 25th largest user of electricity if it was a country. In fact, Bitcoin requires 151.16 TWh of electricity for its mining. Given that this information only provides insight into one cryptocurrency, some will be concerned about how the various other digital currencies impact the world.

The fact the majority of mining for cryptocurrency is done in China poses a significant pollution problem. China primarily uses coal for energy and this means the increased demand will further damage the environment.

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Furthermore, it seems the electricity required for cryptocurrencies is only going to increase.

A Bitcoin token (Unsplash/André François McKenzie)Unsplash/André François McKenzie

Charles Hoskinson, CEO of leading cryptography firm IOHK, 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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With this in mind, many will hope that we start using more renewable energy resources soon as cryptocurrency looks like it’s set to stay.

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. Through working with the likes of Game Rant, The Hook and What Culture, Dan pursued his interests in technology. The skills he picked up along the way are now being utilised with UNILAD.

Topics: Technology, Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, electricity, Now, Tech

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CBECI and 1 other
  1. CBECI

    Comparisons

  2. Independent

    How bad is bitcoin mining for the environment really?