Bitcoin mining already consumes more energy than Argentina
According to Cambridge University, global Bitcoin mining operations already consume more energy than the whole Argentina.
Mining is the process of creating cryptocurrency. The method is energetically demanding, since it is done using computer components that consume a lot of electricity, as is the case of graphics cards.
Bitcoin’s value has increased exponentially in recent months and mining structures have been strengthened as a result in order to generate greater returns.
The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index was created to monitor the energy requirements of this process on a global scale. The values indicated by the university are a solid estimate that is then compared with the consumption of countries and industries, in order to offer a more understandable perspective of the values.
The latest figures indicate that Bitcoin mining consumes 121.36 terawatt of electricity per hour. The value is not only higher than the energy consumption of Argentina, but also approximates the one of Norway. When placed in the ranking of energy consumption by country, Bitcoin already occupies the 30th place of those who consume the most – consumption is equivalent to 0.5% of all the energy produced annually on the planet.
The upward trend has attracted investments from large companies, such as Tesla, which recently bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. The eletric vehicles giant has already made a profit from selling some coins, but said that the strategy will not become a habit. The investment was highly criticized for its environmental impact.
The phenomenon becomes even more worrying if we consider the existence of other cryptocurrencies that are generated in exactly the same way. At the end of 2020, there were more than 1,650 cryptocurrencies.
Experts say that the sector’s energy consumption will continue to increase, unless Bitcoin’s price drops sharply.