Bitcoin needs to be compared to its equivalents when it comes to energy. For example, how much carbon the US military releases annually to protect the hegemony of the dollar. In such comparisons, it’s a no-brainer... hands-down, bitcoin wins!
It's true... freedom isn't free. To protect a decentralized monetary system from those who would manipulate or attack it, energy must be spent.
The network must be resilient. And independent of the oligarch elite that controls money today. And that takes energy.
The good news is, because of market incentives, bitcoin miners often use excess energy to power their operations. Excess energy is the supply that's wasted when it's not needed or used. Sometimes this wasted energy is even flared as methane gas into the atmosphere. By capturing the gas and diverting it to miners, bitcoin is actually helping clean the planet.
Bitcoin miners also often consume stranded energy. That's when an energy source's location isn't close enough to the population who could use it. And the cost of transporting the energy to them isn't worth the effort. That energy would be stuck where it lies, unused — or stranded.
Because they're portable, bitcoin miners are able to go wherever the energy is. And can deploy energy that no one else would — or could — be able to use.
Plus... did you know that 56% of the energy currently committed to Bitcoin is renewable, including solar and geothermal energy? And that number continues to grow.
Compare this to the United States military, one of the biggest polluters in the world. In 2017 alone, it emitted more pollution than Sweden or Switzerland.
Add to that the contamination and damage the US and other nations commit. And the CO2 released by China and Russia.
In contrast, bitcoin’s energy consumption becomes more efficient as it scales. The more competition there is to create the next block, the more cost-effective mining operators must be. Wind, solar, and geothermal energy all play a part as well.
And the future looks bright too. A report by New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) reveals "Bitcoin mining only represents 0.1% of global carbon emissions right now... less than what aviation or air conditioning produces". And... "Bitcoin's absolute electricity consumption and carbon emissions are not significant in global terms".
As bitcoin grows, it becomes more efficient. It does so without the need for a military to protect its dominance. It does so as a decentralized system, kept from the manipulative hands of an oligarch elite. Bitcoin encourages peace over the profit of war. And welcomes everyone as an equal participant, regardless of status or wealth.
The question isn't how can we afford to spend energy on bitcoin, the question is how can we afford not to.
The Last Word on Bitcoin's Energy Consumption
This Machine Greens
Percentage of mining powered by renewable energy
The amount of global energy used to keep BTC secure
Percentage of renewable and nuclear (non-fossil fuel) energy BTC will use by 2040
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