With the value of Bitcoin skyrocketing, it is clear to see why thousands of miners are keen to join the new gold rush. However, there is a major issue for anyone wanting online cryptocurrencies to keep growing: a vast amount of energy is being burnt mining. In fact, the bitcoin community are using the same amount of power as whole countries.
Miners are set to use 42TW hours of electricity this year, ahead of Hungary and New Zealand. It uses the same amount of carbon dioxide as one million transatlantic flights which certainly can’t be ignored.
Burning energy is embedded into the heart of mining – with a faster computer and by burning more fuel the higher chance you have of winning the prize of 12.5 bitcoin (currently worth £86, 300) which is given out every 10 minutes to one lucky miner. In this game burning electricity will boost your chances of winning at the same time as decreasing your opponents’.
It is unclear if Bitcoin is still profitable but whether it is or not it is something that our planet certainly doesn’t need. Every second spent ignoring this is time stolen from my generation: we will suffer the consequences and just so computers can process pointless sums.
By William Marritt