“The true believers won’t stop until they’ve remade the world. Some of it will be thrilling. Some of it will keep us up at night.” – Paul Ford
From a once-fringe technology to “nonsensical nickels,” to a record-breaking rally, to a possible decentralized mode of currency delivering both rank and standing, we seem to be witnessing the evolution of Bitcoin unfold in front of our eyes (at least, at our corners of the internet).
Thanks to a tweet from an eccentric billionaire, Bitcoin is now the ninth most valuable asset in the world by market cap. Not bad for something that’s been around for a little over a decade (12 years and three months, to be exact). Bitcoin’s skyrocketing ascent has resulted in overnight millionaires, a billionaire, the reimagining of the fiat, the Bitcoin Champion Login crypto trading platform, and the launch of a multi-billion dollar industry.
While that’s all fine and dandy, there have also been some unwanted side effects that have been associated with the cryptocurrency. It turns out, while Bitcoin has proven to be a great investment decision, it’s not that great for the environment. That’s because, according to a report by The Independent, Bitcoin sucks up truck loads of energy to mine.
In fact, its underlying network uses as much energy as Argentina. Another major issue that has arisen is the fact that China is responsible for much of the world’s Bitcoin mining, where most of the power comes from coal; another reason that keeps Al Gore up at night.
According to a report released by Vox, Bitcoin mining resulted in 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and since then, that number has risen to around 40 megatons of CO2 being injected into the atmosphere. Sure, it’s a worrisome trend, but is Bitcoin really that bad for humans and the planet?
To be fair, the amount of energy that is consumed by Bitcoin’s network didn’t show an uptick until around 2017, when the cryptocurrency experienced a drastic price rally which also resulted in a surge in energy consumption. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Bitcoin’s energy consumption isn’t going to go down anytime soon and is expected to rise to 110 kilowatts in the coming years, which is enough power to keep the lights on of a small country for an entire year.
This peculiar problem even led Microsoft’s Bill Gates to make yet another egregious claim, after only recently suggesting that the world should consume 100% synthetic beef. While Gates’ concerns are not unfounded, to be fair, the gold mining industry consumers a cool 475 million GigaJoules worth of electricity on an annual basis. For perspective, one GigaJoules equals a billion joules.
How can Bitcoin become more environmentally friendly?
As we see an army of forward-thinking (and well funded) individuals huddle together and emerge as new amoeba-like forms of cryptocurrencies, the question remains, “Is Bitcoin bad for the environment?” The truth is that concerns on the energy demands of cryptocurrencies have been around since Hal Finney tweeted about it in the winter of 2009.
This was just a few weeks after Finney, a pioneer in crypto, received the first Bitcoin transaction from the infamous Satoshi Nakamoto. So, it’s safe to say that Bitcoin has been getting a bad rap for some time now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
For instance, there are already many eco-friendly Bitcoin mining facilities operating at a massive scale, with many others over the horizon. Crypto miners are taking advantage of cheap renewal energy in Norway and Island to power their mining gear. The low temperatures also help to keep systems cool naturally and lower the cost of energy. According to the Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study, nearly 76% of all cryptocurrency mining is now done using renewable energy sources.
Since Bitcoin production also creates copious amounts of heat, it has given rise to many enterprising individuals who are also environmentally minded. For instance, the excess heat produced by computer servers is also being used to power greenhouses or for heating homes. All of these changes will, without a doubt, make for more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly cryptocurrency production.
In other words, the best time to invest in Bitcoin is now. So, head on and make one of the soundest investment decisions of your life.