Bitcoin mining continues to earn hate from environmentalists around the world, as the most recent calculations suggest the process requires more energy than the entire country of Sweden.
Bitcoin Mining Gets More Expensive as the Price Expands
A new report suggests that the higher the price goes, the more energy is needed to extract and mine new coins. Right now, bitcoin is traversing high $50,000 territory; it recently hit a new all-time high of approximately $61,000. It’s trading in the highest bracket we’ve ever witnessed, and while this is likely good news for investors all over the world, many environmentalists believe that the currency is having serious repercussions on the planet’s atmosphere.
In the past, we’ve seen many reports like this. Bitcoin mining ultimately has as big a carbon footprint as the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, it’s also been reported that bitcoin mining uses more energy the countries such as Iceland and Argentina. According to Dutch economist Alex de Vries, the electricity required to mine bitcoin has grown significantly in just the last four years from 78 terawatt hours (TWH) to about 101.
However, one of the big problems centering around bitcoin mining has to do with where operations are located. Right now, China holds the biggest stake in crypto mining. The country is home to most of the world’s crypto mining operations and this wouldn’t be so bad on its own, but the real issue here is that China predominantly uses coal and fossil fuels to power these mining projects when it could easily be reverting to more green-conscious energy such as hydroelectric power.
While crypto advocates such as Jack Dorsey believe that eventually bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining will be fully fueled by environmentally friendly methods, we are a long way from this time. Frances Coppola – a finance author – explained in a recent statement:
I don’t think the bitcoin industry is doing itself any favors by refusing even to accept that bitcoin’s energy use is a problem, let alone do anything about it.
De Vries has also commented that government action in crypto operations may become “inevitable” if traders, miners and other figures involved in the crypto space refuse to accept or acknowledge the environmental impacts they’re having.
Some, however, do not believe that the atmospheric strain allegedly caused by bitcoin mining is anything to seriously worry about. One such figure serving as a “Doubting Thomas” at press time is Nic Carter, a bitcoin investor and partner at Castle Island Ventures. In a recent interview, he commented that the argument surrounding energy use by bitcoin miners is nothing new, and that environmentalists choosing not to get involved in the digital currency space were hurting themselves.
Is This Argument Valid?
The costs of the dollar system are harder to comprehend, but they are extremely real.