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Why Bitcoin is so bad for the planet

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

I'm sure, like me, most people don't really understand the mechanics of Bitcoin. But something has surfaced recently that few have probably ever considered, given it's a virtual commodity: Bitcoin is bad for the environment.

When you think about this, it obviously makes sense. Our whole digital world lives on servers which are powered by electricity after all.

The trouble with Bitcoin though, is that its market model (Bitcoin 'mining') encourages increased energy use: the more computational power speculators point at the system, the more successful their mining operation will be.

For what remains a minority financial activity (Visa alone handles 1000x more transactions a second), Bitcoin burns £200k of energy every 10 minutes. Scale that up, and in a year it represents 2.5x the energy use of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft combined.

Parts of this will still leave you scratching your head, if you're not a fintech whiz, but The Guardian have produced a handy short film unpacking it all...

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