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The environmental concerns of Bitcoin mining

Written by  May 16, 2020

Following bitcoins rise two years ago in 2017 to highs of $20k+, the question was asked on whether the leading cryptocurrency is having an impact on the environment.

Although it has reaches many highs but also many lows, it has only grown since its creation in 2009. It is the first and most popular cryptocurrency there is, and the growth we have seen over the past few years has fuelled speculation and debate about the environmental impact that the cryptocurrency is having. This is mainly due to the large amount of energy that it uses in order to power this digital currency.

Given that Bitcoin is not tied to a bank or government, it has been able to and has been able to increase massively in value. Essentially, what BTC is, is a line of computer code that can be signed digitally when it goes from one owner to another. The concern for the environment comes from the fact that Bitcoin cannot exist without computers, which in turn cannot exist without an electricity source. The number of computers that are needed is rising significantly, thanks to the growing value of the popularity of Bitcoin. Incidentally, Ethereum is also a cryptocurrency that can be mined.

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Since the Bitcoin halving it means that the cryptocurrency miners will have to work harder for their rewards.

But, miners are what help bitcoin become a reality. They solve unique and often confusing puzzles to gain access to the currency but as the price and value increases, these puzzles become much harder.

Bitcoin has a hard cap of 21 million, so after that’s all been mined, that’s it. No more BTC.

But in the meantime, it’s said that these miners are using the best machines possible for the job. In fact, only last week Supercomputers across Europe including the UK were hacked for cryptocurrency mining purposes.

Not only is mining expensive (and only potentially rewarding) but it has an impact on the environment like no other. Big mining rigs are the worst, unfortunately most miners don’t concern themselves with the environmental factors of crypto mining. It's more about the rewards that come with it.

Do you find this article useful? Comment below or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Peter Flynn

Senior Editor and self confessed Crypto addict, bringing a variety of Crypto tech news, help and advice in the UK. I have worked in various fields throughout my career such as a Systems Administrator, Cyber Security Consultant and other technical related roles, these days I concentrate on Cryptocurrency journalism and technical writing.

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