Operating the Bitcoin network globally uses as much energy as Washington State, which amount to less than one half of one percent of total global energy use. It is all the more essential because with effort, Bitcoin mining can be done with clean energy sources and by relying on waste energy streams. But to facilitate a movement toward more climate-friendly Bitcoin mining, more people must appreciate why Bitcoin is consequential.
Bitcoin enables these people to maintain and control their hard-earned value. Imagine how many refugees throughout history would have benefitted from this capability. When the Afghan government fell, Western Union ceased offering its services. Bitcoin fixes this, which is just one of many things that makes it disruptive. It is programmed Bitcoin is software to be the scarcest resource available to every human.
No matter how much demand for Bitcoin there is, the supply will increase at a fixed but diminishing rate the amount produced by each block halves every 4 years , which means saving your wealth in Bitcoin will be rewarded over time as its adoption and value increases. It will be the first of many counties to do this. Narratives are Persistent. The narrative around Bitcoin globally is changing. Especially in the U. Mining Bitcoin using a specialized computer to solve a cryptographic puzzle , like mining any other resource requires energy.
The pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, likened mining of Bitcoin to mining gold. Unlike many other resources, the power to mine Bitcoin can be obtained from renewable resources and from waste streams from conventional energy sources. And very few of the almost 19M Bitcoin in circulation cost nearly this much to mine nor used nearly as much energy. Most were mined on a simple laptop. Today, and going forward, it will require ever-more expensive and powerful miners.
The U. Today, the Bitcoin network uses around TWh of energy. The gas flared by the U. However, unlike most electricity consumers, miners can rely on intermittent power and be located by energy sources. Bitcoin already uses more energy than some countries but still makes up only 0.
Earlier this year, China banned Bitcoin mining and set off a migration of miners around the globe seeking cheap sources of energy to run their miners. This migration will take months to play out. During this time, the U. Already, Bitcoin mining is concentrated amongst conglomerates. This is an opportunity for the U. The report said it was "essential to improve the efficiency of crypto-mining and move to low-carbon energy sources for electricity".
But it's not just the running of Bitcoin mining that is costing the environment. The computer equipment used for mining typically only lasts for one and a half years. It can not then thrown out afterwards because the equipment can only be used for mining.
Science Direct found that as a result, one transaction on the Bitcoin network produces grams of electronic waste. One of the most prominent figures to add to the crypto environmental debate is the Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk. Earlier this year he said the electric car company would accept Bitcoin as payment, but environmentalists later convinced Musk to backtrack on his decision.
Musk subsequently announced the company would not accept crypto payments for Tesla vehicles again until at least 50 per cent of mining operations using green energy. But this has not yet happened. Cryptocurrency experts have previously told Euronews Next that crypto miners have no incentive to make greener choices. Governments are also weighing in on the debate. China and Iran temporarily halted Bitcoin mining due to the massive energy use that was causing power cuts in some areas.
We need to protect our planet and crackdown on environmentally wasteful crypto mining practices. This content is not available in your region.