Bitcoin mining uses more electricity than some large countries

Last week Elon Musk surprised by announcing that Tesla has “suspended the purchase of vehicles with Bitcoin”. A decision made less than two months after American customers were given permission to buy their vehicles with cryptocurrency.

The chairman based this decision on concerns about “the rapid increase in the use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining”. In fact, this system, which is essentially based on the blockchain, poses a great ecological challenge. The energy requirements of this technology are constantly increasing, so that many are beginning to realize its harmful consequences.

The sector is trying to respond to this major problem

Statista has just published a very interesting comparison that shows that Bitcoin uses more energy than some countries. According to a study by the University of Cambridge, the cryptocurrency requires a total of 143 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year, or 0.65% of global consumption, according to a study by the University of Cambridge. It does more than Norway, Bangladesh, or even Switzerland. Technology giants like Google and Facebook consume 12 and 5 TWh respectively.

Mining is particularly involved, and it happens that some producers move to Iceland to try to solve their rising energy costs by “relying on geothermal energy and cold arctic air to help cool,” says Statista.

To solve this problem, around twenty companies in the industry have signed an agreement initiated by the Energy Web Foundation. The non-profit foundation based in Zug, Switzerland, which has been in operation since 2019, has published the “Crypto Climate Accord”, a special cryptocurrency climate pact. The goal is clearly defined: An attempt should be made to use cryptocurrency blockchain systems mainly for renewable energies before 2030 and to be emission-free by 2040.

This project, which is based only on private actors, is still vague about the means that will be implemented to meet these commitments. Either way, this is a first step that shows real awareness within the industry.

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