Bitcoin
BTC$20 080.91

4.60%

Ethereum
ETH$1 352.25

3.96%

Tether
USDT$1.000199

0.01%

Binance Coin
BNB$295.18

3.35%

USD Coin
USDC$1.000129

0.02%

XRP
XRP$0.479325

6.89%

Bitcoin energy problem speaks to wider challenge for internet’s future


25 May 2021

#Bitcoin

Greenpeace USA spoke to Cointelegraph about the organization's perspective on cryptocurrency and recent decision to scrap its Bitcoin donations channel. With the hindsight of today's perspective on Bitcoin's (BTC) exorbitant energy consumption, it might come as something of a surprise to learn that the international non-governmental environmental organization Greenpeace was one of its earlier adopters. Back in 2014, the organization set up a facility for accepting Bitcoin donations, yet this enthusiasm has now cooled, as widespread attention has homed in on the climate risks posed by energy-guzzling Proof-of-Work coins like Bitcoin. Last week, news broke that Greenpeace had decided to scrap the facility, holding it to "no longer be tenable" in an era of rapid global warming. 

Much of this concern has been amplified by the fact that this year's unprecedented cryptocurrency bull market was accompanied by a corresponding hike in energy needs: skyrocketing prices led to a doubling of the Bitcoin network's energy consumption by March of this year, according to a recent study from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

In correspondence with Cointelegraph, Greenpeace USA media director Travis Nichols said that as the environmental profile of Bitcoin became clearer to the organization, Greenpeace did indeed decide to scrap its facility, despite the fact that the number of BTC donations it had received was not significant. Nichols contextualized Bitcoin's energy quandary within a wider perspective on global digital infrastructure, writing:

"The huge and ever-growing amount of energy needed to run Bitcoin is largely down to the particular technology used to maintain this digital currency, but it also points to a wider challenge for the future of the internet. As web services grow and become more complex, the demand for computing power will continue to go up over the next few years, and that will require much more energy." 

Nichols noted that only a fifth of the electricity used in the world’s data centers currently comes from renewable sources — something that will have to be turned around fast if the internet's expansion and role in supporting economic growth are to be made sustainable.

To push back against Bitcoin's growing reputation as a “dirty currency,” several industry participants have tried to draw attention to the fact that its energy needs are still overshadowed by those of the global banking system and even the gold market. A recent report from Galaxy Digital contrasted these aggregate figures to show that Bitcoin still consumes less than either, in addition to stressing that data from the banking industry on electricity consumption is significantly less transparent than that available for Bitcoin.

However, analysts from outside the industry counter this by emphasizing the relative, not aggregate, figures. A blog post from the London School of Economics published today notes that “each individual bitcoin transaction uses the same amount of electricity as 778,988 credit card transactions” and has “the same carbon footprint as processing 1,218,903 transactions.”

Nichols' bottom line was that the internet, like all infrastructure, will need to be powered by “clean energy sources that help, not hinder the crucial challenge of tackling climate change.” Those advocating for Bitcoin's potential to purportedly incentivize renewables adoption will have to prove their case, and fast, or risk the veteran cryptocurrency being “left behind” as the world enters the endgame of climate politics.


Related

Bitcoin's extremely low volatility
Bitcoin's extremely low volatility
Bitcoin seems to be regaining defensive status
Bitcoin seems to be regaining defensive status
Has the crypto market first felt the risk appetite?
Has the crypto market first felt the risk appetite?
Bearish Sentiment Persists
Bearish Sentiment Persists
The crypto market has taken a hiatus from the sell-off
The crypto market has taken a hiatus from the sell-off
Crypto bears confirmed their strength
Crypto bears confirmed their strength
Cryptocurrencies: Main Week of the Calendar
Cryptocurrencies: Main Week of the Calendar
Is Bitcoin heading to $15K? Why are the markets suddenly pulling back?
Is Bitcoin heading to $15K? Why are the markets suddenly pulling back?
Crypto market's fragile stability
Crypto market's fragile stability

Top Cryptocurrencies with Price Predictions

# Crypto Prediction Accuracy CVIX Price 24h 7d Market Cap 7d price change
1 Bitcoin (BTC) BTC Bitcoin predictions 86.8% 20 $20 080.91 4.60% -0.63% $384 928 648 027 BTC 7 days price change
2 Ethereum (ETH) ETH Ethereum predictions 63.6% 82 $1 352.25 3.96% -2.63% $165 850 909 431 ETH 7 days price change
3 Tether (USDT) USDT Tether predictions 92.8% 1 $1.000199 0.01% 0.02% $67 962 965 910 USDT 7 days price change
4 Binance Coin (BNB) BNB Binance Coin predictions 89.2% 16 $295.18 3.35% 4.10% $47 622 811 891 BNB 7 days price change
5 USD Coin (USDC) USDC USD Coin predictions 92.4% 1 $1.000129 0.02% 0.01% $47 041 969 452 USDC 7 days price change
6 XRP (XRP) XRP XRP predictions 61.2% 86 $0.479325 6.89% 0.21% $23 918 656 745 XRP 7 days price change
7 Binance USD (BUSD) BUSD Binance USD predictions 94.8% 1 $1.000158 -0.04% 0.02% $21 045 557 649 BUSD 7 days price change
8 Cardano (ADA) ADA Cardano predictions 78.4% 46 $0.432877 2.56% -5.26% $14 827 377 490 ADA 7 days price change
9 Solana (SOL) SOL Solana predictions 85.6% 22 $34.02 4.22% -2.80% $12 079 424 303 SOL 7 days price change
10 Lido stETH (STETH) STETH Lido stETH predictions 96% 1 $2 941.39 -0.40% -3.32% $10 258 752 564 STETH 7 days price change
11 Dogecoin (DOGE) DOGE Dogecoin predictions 90.4% 14 $0.060856 1.66% -2.64% $8 073 831 543 DOGE 7 days price change
12 Polygon (MATIC) MATIC Polygon predictions 69.6% 61 $0.835389 7.92% 6.54% $7 296 551 325 MATIC 7 days price change
13 Polkadot (DOT) DOT Polkadot predictions 66.8% 67 $6.47 3.14% -3.80% $7 264 526 660 DOT 7 days price change
14 Dai (DAI) DAI Dai predictions 91.6% 1 $0.999987 0.06% 0.03% $6 786 797 042 DAI 7 days price change
15 Wrapped TRON (WTRX) WTRX Wrapped TRON predictions 93.2% 5 $0.061484 0.80% 1.33% $6 251 497 842 WTRX 7 days price change

Be the first to receive Cryptocurrency Price Predictions and Forecasts daily

Get cryptocurrency price predictions, forecasts with analysis and news right to your inbox.

© 2015-2022 Crypto-Rating.com

The usage of this website constitutes acceptance of the following legal information. Any contracts of financial instruments offered to conclude bear high risks and may result in the full loss of the deposited funds. Prior to making transactions one should get acquainted with the risks to which they relate. All the information featured on the website, including information about the cryptocurrencies and bitcoin is intended solely for informational purposes, is not a means of advertising them, and doesn't imply direct instructions for investing. Crypto Rating shall not be liable for any loss, including unlimited loss of funds, which may arise directly or indirectly from the usage of this information. The editorial staff of the website does not bear any responsibility whatsoever for the content of the comments or reviews made by the site users about cryptocurrencies. The entire responsibility for the contents rests with the authors. Reprint of the materials is available only with the permission of the editorial staff.