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Thread: Bitcoin is a major energy hog! Will all the intensive verification processes doom cryptocurrency?

  1. #1 Bitcoin is a major energy hog! Will all the intensive verification processes doom cryptocurrency? 
    Forum Masters Degree Double Helix's Avatar
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    Dec 2020
    A recent article from BBC News (1) indicates that maintaining the viability of Bitcoin alone is estimated to require "somewhere between 40 and 445 annualised terawatt hours", based on calculations from the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF). The upper end of this range is more power than the U.K. uses - ca. 300 annualised terawatt hours.

    The data intensive verification for Bitcoin's blockchain (2) alone is currently believed to be making "160 quintillion calculations every second". All this computing to secure cryptocurrencies may ultimately make it untenable.

    Quoting from the BBC article:

    ""And this vast computational effort is the cryptocurrency's Achilles heel", says Alex de Vries, the founder of the Digiconomist website and an expert on Bitcoin."

    It was also established that most of the electricity driving all this computing largely relies on power plants using fossil-fuels, as determined by the the CCAF team.

    Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies look like a real problem with their growing influence. What will stop this enormous power drain? Perhaps the power drain alone will kill them off.

    From the BBC article:

    Ken Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard University, notes :

    "The fact is, it's not really used much in the legal economy now. Yes, one rich person sells it to another, but that's not a final use. And without that it really doesn't have a long-term future." This suggests that Bitcoin "exists almost exclusively as a vehicle for speculation." Of course that remains to be seen, but the energy to use it would seem to be a major drag on its valuation moving forward.

    Bitcoin, anyone?!



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