Bitcoin Predicted To Be The Nail In The Coffin Of Climate Change

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Second only to anti-pipeline memes stored on photobucket.

You’re forgiven if you aren’t familiar with a digital currency that could single-handedly devastate the planet. “Six months ago I wasn’t either,” says Camilo Mora, lead author of the study. When coauthor, Katie Taladay, first proposed analyzing Bitcoin’s emissions, Mora thought she was kidding. “I thought it was a video game.” What came from the analysis floored the research team. From the paper: “Reducing emissions to keep warming below 2C is already regarded as a very difficult challenge given the increasing human population and consumption as well as a lack of political will. Then came Bitcoin.”

*Critics of this report point to how difficult it is to calculate power usage because of how dispersed the Bitcoin network is. They also point to the IT sector’s efforts in reducing its footprint. It’s not the case that energy consumption will remain fixed over the next hundred years. However, the report’s urgency points to the impact Bitcoin could have over the next 16-23 years suggesting Bitcoin (and probably every area impacting climate change) may have to act a lot faster to reduce carbon emissions

The estimated emissions produced by Bitcoin last year alone is 69 million metric tons of CO2. Mora calls the numbers mind-blowing. “That is the source of concern for us. If this [technology] is so insignificant and the footprint is so big, can you imagine if this thing were to take off? ” As Bitcoin gains popularity, it’s energy demands increase dramatically. “We don’t have a single thing–not agriculture, not transportation–that we can think of that in two decades would be enough to warm the planet by two degrees. But Bitcoin can.”

What’s causing the emissions explosion?

Bitcoin miners are the reason for the ugly energy report card. Bitcoin has no central bank. It’s a peer-to-peer decentralized network for digital currency. Bitcoin purchases generate blocks of data. It’s like a folder with a complicated math problem inside as the key. A miner is simply anyone who wants to join the Bitcoin network and owns powerful Bitcoin processing hardware necessary to support the software capable of solving the key and verifying the Bitcoin. This makes Bitcoin super hard to counterfeit. As compensation for providing this level of computationally intensive security, miners get a percentage of the Bitcoins they verify. But verification takes an enormous amount of energy and as Bitcoin gets more broadly adopted, the energy demands increase perilously. The current analysis suggests mining data for profit is even more destructive to the planet than mining the planet itself for profit.
I guess Bitcoin users will just have to power their computers with the sunshine that flows out of their asse.
Bitcoins for Everyone!
Hoof Hearted
My brother bought me a share of Bitcoin for my birthday last year. I'll just hang on to it until I'm a hundred years old and pass it down to my kids or somethin.
You are assuming we will still have the use of electricity at that 'distant point in time'.
Dixie Cup
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

You are assuming we will still have the use of electricity at that 'distant point in time'.

Yes and even if we do will it be affordable or will only the rich have it? Maybe that's been the plan all along ...