Get rich on dirty Bitcoin

Get rich on dirty Bitcoin

The first time I heard about Bitcoin was when I was still studying. My friends and I were sipping on a cup of coffee and discussing various topics that were ongoing at the time. One person mentioned that there was a new currency issued at a supranational level that is not controlled by any governments out there. We were all intrigued.

Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by a Satoshi Nakamoto. Who that is, no one knows. At the time however, it wasn't much more than just an invention. You couldn't buy it. At least not easily. It was also not worth that much. In mid-2010s one Bitcoin was trading at less than US $0.10. At that time for about £100 ( circa US $150) you could have bought more than 1,500 units. If you did, then congratulations! In today's value that is approx US$ 60,000,000.

However, aside from that mind blowing growth , there is also the other side to Bitcoin. The dark side. Production of Bitcoin, or almost any cryptocurrency, is a dirty business.

Cambridge University estimates that the energy consumed by Bitcoin is about 113 TWh (terawatt-hours) per annum. This is comparable to the total energy that Sweden uses in a year.

Large energy consumption is not necessarily a problem in itself. What matters however, is the source of that energy. In a recent study published by the Cambridge University, it has been shown that globally over 60% of all energy used for cryptocurrencies mining comes from various old fashion sources, such as Coal or Oil. That picture looks even worse when looking at the regional variations. In some countries in Asia Pacific or South & Latin America, Coal or Oil are used almost exclusively.

If the price of Bitcoin continues to keep breaking new records, the mining will increase and with it the energy consumed.

The only feasible way to turn that around is to eliminate access barriers to clean energy and to make it even more cost attractive. Building infrastructure for renewable energy is however expensive and time consuming. In the short term, if demand for energy increases it will be met by supply from mostly the dirty side of energy production. For now, we remain on the course of crypto-destruction of our environment. Unfortunately.

Until Next Time

M | K

Some References and Links

What is Bitcoin

A quick introduction to Bitcoin | How Does Bitcoin Work? | Get Started with
Get a simple introduction to Bitcoin and why it matters. | Wanting to get started with Bitcoin, but unsure how it all works? Our online guides cover everything crypto, from getting starting to trading efficiently.

Cambridge University Study

3rd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study - CCAF publications - Cambridge Judge Business School
Apolline Blandin, Dr. Gina Pieters, Yue Wu, Thomas Eisermann, Anton Dek, Sean Taylor and Damaris Njoki. This report reviews the impact of …