Planet Earth has overcome many challenges in its lifetime. Now it faces a new one: Bitcoin’s energy footprint. The challenge comes courtesy of a new peer-reviewed study, released on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.
Bitcoin’s Energy Footprint – What You Need to Know
Six months ago, Grist, an environmental magazine, wrote about Bitcoin’s energy footprint. Fast forward to June of 2018, and a new study has found that Bitcoin’s energy footprint has more than doubled since that article was first published.
There’s more, though. The study also reported that Bitcoin’s energy footprint is likely to double again by the end of 2018. If this happens, Bitcoin will be eating up 0.5% of the globe’s electricity. For perspective, that’s roughly as much as the Netherlands.
Now, this information might not be new to everyone, but it’s likely to still have a shock factor. The author of the study, Alex de Vries, has posted these calculations before, but this is the first time Bitcoin’s energy footprint has been published in an academic journal. Being published in a peer-reviewed journal is important as it means the information included is true. No fake news. These articles go through extensive rounds of fact-checking and are written by credible sources.
By late 2019, the study found that Bitcoin could be using more electricity than all the solar panels in the world currently produce. This is roughly 1.8% of global electricity.
Crypto Energy Consumption
As concerning as this is, it’s not like it is new information to the world. Numerous countries, like Canada and Iceland, have openly stated that crypto energy consumption is getting marginally out of hand. Specifically, Iceland and Canada have spoken of too much energy being used for cryptocurrency mining projects. However, Iceland said that even though it knows the risks, it’s still going to put most of its energy towards the crypto sector.
This is a troubling trajectory. Why? Well, for starters, we are living in a world that should be restraining our energy use and fighting Global Warming. Instead, we are using more energy than we can afford to use, and it’s for something that not everyone can benefit from or wants to benefit from.
That’s just a few people’s opinions, though. What do you think?
On the Topic of Bitcoin
Speaking of Bitcoin, the virtual currency is still below the $8,000 mark on the market. Bitcoin (BTC) is currently down 1.44% in the past twenty-four hours.
Featured Image: depositphotos/JohanSwanepoel