Bitcoin has a climate problem.
The cryptocurrency uses huge quantities of electricity and as the price of a single Bitcoin has skyrocketed beyond $50,000, Bitcoin miners are now producing as much carbon pollution as a medium-sized nation.
“Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind,” said Microsoft founder Bill Gates, when he spoke recently on social media platform Clubhouse.
“It’s not a great climate thing.”
Bitcoin may soon be consuming over 200 terrawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, according to a new study by data scientist Alex de Vries in the journal Joule.
“This is not far from the amount of energy consumed by all data centres globally,” he wrote in reference to the infrastructure that ran the internet.
“What makes these numbers mind-blowing is that those data centres serve the most of global civilisation.