Global Warming and Cryptocurrencies

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Cryptocurrencies have progressed in our society and have come a long way as a trading alternative. Digital currencies like Bitcoin or Ether have made themselves the most popular growing unit value and proved to be the most successful and legitimate transaction. Although cryptocurrencies have massive and multiple benefits, it does not exist without its fallbacks. The environmental impact of digital currencies have become to rise under question and scientists are concerned for the potential outcomes that will arise in the nearer future.

Unlike the dollar or other various currencies like the pound, these virtual “coins” are not tied to a bank, instead they are “mined” by computers in data centers that use excessive and huge amounts of energy. as of December, 2017 one of the most vastly used digital currency, Bitcoin (BTC) estimately uses about 32 terawatts of energy every year, which is equivalent to powering about three million households in the U.S. The process of mining BTC and other digital currencies uses a staggering amount of energy and the numbers are only rising especially for the black market and illegal businesses.

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Meteorologist, Eric Holthaus argues, “bitcoin is slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels”. The burning of coal and other fossil fuels is currently a major source of electricity and power worldwide, not only for cryptocurrencies in the business aspect but also for other hosts. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have indicated that much of the electricity used in mining operations has come from insufficient coal based power plants that were constructed in rural areas of the country in advance of large construction projects many of which were never materialized.

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