Mining for bitcoin is now consuming more electricity than the whole of Argentina, suggests an energy tracker operated by the University of Cambridge. Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency craze created through a process called mining, without the need to use any physical form or bank; it has taken over the internet. Mining uses powerful computer components – especially graphics cards – to verify bitcoin transactions, a process that creates bitcoin for the user. Due to the recent rise in the price of bitcoin, miners around the world are embracing hungry computing rigs to create encrypted currency, which has no limited supply before anything else created.
The Cambridge bitcoin Power Acquisition Indicator created to track the power drawing of this process worldwide. This is a “best guess estimate”, which then taken and shows the huge impact of cryptocurrency compared to other electricity uses. The most recent update suggests some psychologically disturbing statistics – Bitcoin now consumes 121.36 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, which is now more than the energy of Argentina and hot in the hills of Norway. When Bitcoin is classified as a country, it ranks 30th in the world and consumes about 0.5% of the world’s energy production.
Bitcoin is currently trading at $47,700 (£34,450). As supply declines, big names in both industry and celebrity realities are investing, with critics condemning the company for the environmental impact of the transaction, while Tesla is buying $1.5 billion in bitcoin.
Despite being the largest yet, Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency that miners have shaken. By 2020, more than 1,650 cryptocurrency found in meme-worthy currencies, ranging from blockchains like Ethereum to Dogecoin. All of these are waiting for the same success as Bitcoin, and more and more currencies are likely to enter the market in the face of the irresistible media coverage of cryptocurrency in recent months.
Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the end of it. Experts suggest that mining and subsequent fuel consumption will continue to rise without significantly reducing the price of bitcoin. In addition, hardware companies under pressure to produce components that are more robust each year are drawing high-end models using a 300W power draw to maximize performance outside each chip. The environmental impact of cryptocurrency will only get worse.