Concerns arise over the environmental impact of Bitcoin

One ABC News report found that bitcoin mining actually takes more energy than is needed to run a small country.

Bitcoin has created quite a stir, with some people enthusiastic about the cryptocurrency while others doubt it is sustainable or even practical. Bitcoin millionaires are making headlines, but bitcoin’s value is anything but stable.

The cryptocurrency works by offering digital tokens that people can trade for goods and services, but finding a record of any payments made is difficult because Bitcoin is not based in any bank or real world financial transaction.

You can get bitcoins as payment, buying them yourself and mining for them.

Mining is probably one of the most popular ways to get bitcoins, but the processing power needed for mining is massive, creating concerns that the energy consumption for bitcoin mining is detrimental to the environment.

The concerns are not unfounded, as bitcoin miners need specialized hardware and software for their computers and fossil fuels are still a primary means of producing energy and electricity.

Mining is an exhaustive process, and the specially designed software scours the internet for coins and solves complex puzzles to acquire them. The more coins available, the harder the puzzles are to solve.

Both economists and environmentalists are now worried about the sustainability of bitcoin, as a form of reliable currency in the market and its impact on fossil fuel consumption.

One ABC News report found that bitcoin mining takes more energy than is needed to run a small country.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that experts say bitcoin’s energy use is equal to that of one to three nuclear reactors.

Measuring the energy consumption of bitcoin is no easy feat, and if bitcoin’s worth continues its upward trajectory, its energy impact will also increase.

By Kay Vandette, Earth.com Staff Writer