Bitcoin Is Bad For The Environment

Tesla has stopped accepting Bitcoin as payment for its cars out of concern that it will contribute to greater consumption of fossil fuels, according to a statement CEO Elon Musk. “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come a great cost to the environment,” say Musk on Twitter.

Bitcoin mining is a process of creating a new coin that involves using computers to solve complex mathematical algorithms or puzzles. The cryptocurrencies are based on a decentralised network that need to be mined. Bitcoin mining is metaphorical, but the results can be just as destructive as the real thing.

The software that mines bitcoin is designed to take on average about 10 minutes for those on the network to solve the complex program and process a block.The process ends up using a massive amount of electricity as giant and powerful systems are used by miners to mine blocks and verify transactions.

The vast majority of Bitcoin’s energy consumption happens during the mining process. As a reward for their services, miners receive newly created bitcoins along with transaction processing fees.

The emergence of cryptocurrency into the mainstream is very important for the world of finance. It’s also a big deal for the world in the case of the dominant form of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.Bitcoin has recently surged in value. In April, 2020, a coin was worth about seven thousand dollars; today, it’s worth more than fifty-five thousand. As the cost of investing in bitcoin have increased, so has the profit in mining it. 

According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, bitcoin-mining operations worldwide use energy at about the annual domestic electricity consumption of the entire nation of Sweden, and it is responsible for roughly a million times more carbon emissions than a single Visa transaction. 

As the world desperately needs to cut carbon emissions, it doesn’t make sense to be devoting a Sweden’s worth of electricity to a virtual currency.

Mining is the process by which bitcoin is both created and accounted for. Instead of being cleared by, say, a bank, bitcoin transactions are recorded by a decentralised network, a blockchain. It’s unclear exactly who dreamt up bitcoin, so no one knows what this person (or persons) was thinking when the mining protocols were first established. 

Elon Musk:        LiveMint:       New Yorker:     The Verge:       Cambridge University Judd:      Image: Unsplash

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