Though Bitcoin mining requires no tools like picks and shovels, it does involve quite a bit of energy. In fact, there are server farms in places like Iceland whose only job is to mine Bitcoins. One source that keeps track of this has estimated that a single Bitcoin transaction requires 80,000 times more electricity that a single Visa card transaction.
How is Bitcoin used?
Proponents of the Bitcoin and crypto currency industry say that this figure is over exaggerated by at least three times. Using simple math, that would mean that mining Bitcoins only requires about 26,000 times more electricity than a single credit card transaction. That still seems excessive. Those who love and support the crypto currency craze will probably not be swayed in their obsession.
The huge increase in Bitcoin’s popularity has spawned many new industries. It is now much easier to conduct business on the Deep Web since Bitcoin payments cannot be traced. Of course, much of that trade is illegal or at least unethical. Using Bitcoin payments, you can buy illegal drugs and other contraband online now. It is the perfect monetary solution for a growing number of businesses that many consider illegal.
How much energy do Bitcoins require?
According to Morgan Stanley, mining one Bitcoin takes the same amount of energy required to power an average home for 2 years. If you consider all the computers plugged into the Bitcoin network, the energy consumed by them would power a medium-sized country. In spite of the massive amount of energy required, Bitcoins do look like they will be around for a while. Their current value has risen in the last few years from hundreds of dollars each to thousands.
New crypto currencies
Since Bitcoin has become so popular, not just in America, but all over the world, other crypto currencies are now rising up. One of these called, Ethereum, has become so popular that it rivals Bitcoin. Production of Ethereum also requires massive energy for its creation. As the world’s second most popular virtual currency, it too, gobbles up enough energy each year to power a small country.
Those who love to deal in virtual currencies are not dismayed by these facts. They say that Bitcoin and Ethereum are totally worth whatever it costs to create them.
Vitalik Buterin, the inventor of Ethereum, is currently searching for more energy-efficient ways to create these digital tokens. In a recent statement, he said, “I would personally feel very unhappy if my main contribution to the world was adding Cyprus’s worth of electricity consumption to global warming.”