Bitcoins energy waste

Another hard thing to ignore is the amount of energy used by miners. As bitcoin has got more popular – not civilian-popular, but nerd-popular and cutting-edge-capitalist-popular – the mining process has had more and more computer power thrown at it. The process is wasteful, since most of the mining, most of the time, is by definition unsuccessful, because only one miner wins the race. As Vigna and Casey point out in Cryptocurrency, by the middle of 2014, the bitcoin network, which

was then producing 88,000 trillion hashes every second, had a computing power six thousand times the combined power of the world’s top five hundred supercomputers … And just two and a half months later, it had almost trebled to 252,000 trillion hashes. The world has seen nothing like this level of computational expansion. That’s why some doomsayers are predicting that if bitcoin continues on its present path, the planet faces an environmental catastrophe. Continue reading