23 May. 2018
Some worrisome numbers about Bitcoin on Eurekalert! Science News:
A single transaction uses as much electricity as an average household in the Netherlands uses in a month. By the end of this year, he predicts the network could be using as much as 7.7 gigawatts–as much as Austria and half of a percent of the world’s total consumption. “To me, half a percent is already quite shocking. It’s an extreme difference compared to the regular financial system, and this increasing electricity demand is definitely not going to help us reach our climate goals,” he says. If the price of Bitcoin continues to increase the way some experts have predicted, de Vries believes the network could someday consume 5% of the world’s electricity. “That would be quite bad.”
You would think the world would know better by now, 2018, about how we are destroying our planet, but sadly, nothing seems able to stop us if there is some extra money to be made.
Last week, I worked on trasncribing and editing an interview of the former editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, mostly about journalism and climate change. Rusbridger made so many great points, but this one resonated most with me:
If we believe that [climate change] is the biggest story of our lives — which it probably is — and then you look and see how that translates into how the media covers it, there’s a terrible mismatch between this immensely important story and the way the media deals with it now.
I’d be curious to see how many of the publications covering blockchain and cryptocurrencies news are carefully mentioning their monstrous electrical consumption, and how many actually talk about the following climate impacts.
My bet is most of them just don’t.
To end this post on a lighter note, an old gem from the Onion.