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Why Bitcoin Is Bad for the Environment

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crypto mining farm

Credit: Coindesk

The mainstreaming of cryptocurrency is obviously a big deal for the world of finance. It's also a big deal for the world of, well, the world.

Bitcoin "mining" is purely metaphorical, but the results can be every bit as destructive as the real thing.

According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, bitcoin-mining operations worldwide now use energy at the rate of nearly a hundred and twenty terawatt-hours per year. This is about the annual domestic electricity consumption of the entire nation of Sweden. According to Digiconomist, a single bitcoin transaction uses the same amount of power that the average American household consumes in a month. At a time when the world desperately needs to cut carbon emissions, does it make sense to be devoting a Sweden's worth of electricity to a virtual currency?

From The New Yorker
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