The energy required to mine a single Bitcoin has more than doubled in the last six months.
Cryptocurrency has faced a number of setbacks for some investors since it first became a hot-ticket investment opportunity, including international legislation against mining and trading, accusations of hacking in order to hijack others’ computers for mining, heavy competition in a crowded marketplace that is getting increasingly more overrun, and more. But new reports about another major issue with the imaginary money stand to cause even more concern–and potential devaluation–especially if governments start taking issue with it.
The energy required to mine a single Bitcoin is not only already astronomical in scope, it’s rapidly increasing. A recent report shows that the required energy has more than doubled in the last six months alone, and shows no sign of slowing down.
Same energy as a country
According to Grist, the energy required at those year-end levels to produce Bitcoin will be about 0.5% of the world’s energy, or as much as the Netherlands uses each year: “That’s a troubling trajectory, especially for a world that should be working overtime to root out energy waste and fight climate change. By late next year, Bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity, according to a simple extrapolation of the study’s predictions. That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy.” Another finding states that Bitcoin currently uses as much electricity as all of Ireland’s energy demand.
Not all experts agree on the energy demand, though, and at a value of $10,000USD per coin, some investors think the heavy investment in required technology to mine it–your laptop won’t cut it anymore–and the hit to their electric bills will payoff in the end. Those who fear that all forms of cryptocurrency investment are a flash in the pan fad are looking at the big picture, though, and they don’t like what they see when it comes to environmental damage.