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Bitcoin mining is consuming a ridiculous amount of electricity – more than all of Argentina

It will soon need more energy annually than Norway, which consumes 122.20 TWh.

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Image: Unsplash

Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy, and that’s no secret. The source of the energy doesn’t matter here, as long as it is available for the power-hungry computers that make Bitcoin transactions possible. Recent research from Cambridge University puts Bitcoin mining under the spotlight and the results are pretty startling.

According to Cambridge researchers, Bitcoin mining annually consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh). For comparison, the entire country of Argentina uses 121 TWh annually. The Netherlands usually needs approximately 108.8 TWh to meet their energy needs, whereas the UAE usually gets by with 113.20 TWh every year.

Considering the growing popularity of Bitcoin, it will soon need more energy annually than Norway, which consumes 122.20 TWh.

Environmentalists and climate change activists have been trying to raise awareness of this issue for a long time. On numerous occasions, they warned that most of the energy used by Bitcoin miners comes from coal, and unprecedented amounts of CO2 take a heavy toll on the environment and super-charge climate change. 

Elon Musk, the celebrity CEO of Tesla, revolutionized the auto industry and made electric vehicles mainstream. However, he turned out to be a great fan of Bitcoin. In multiple public comments, he has said that he likes the idea of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. 

Then, he decided to take his admiration to a new level, with Tesla buying $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. At the same time, the company announced that it would allow people to buy Teslas using Bitcoin. Soon after, Bitcoin’s value increased to a record $48,000. 

That outraged many environmentalists and climate change advocates who were surprised by Musk’s actions considering that in 2020 he received about $1.5 billion in environmental subsidies. In a way, Musk took his environmental subsidies and used them to buy Bitcoin. 

Some people are already commenting and calling for the subsidies to be re-examined. So far, there is no reaction from Tesla’s board room. Aside from Tesla, Elon Musk is the chairman of Solar City – a company praised for its solar roofs and its impact on the environment.

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