Brave new world: Bitcoin opens digital frontier in global clean energy transition
DEEP-DIVE: The energy industry has an opportunity to help forge a new global monetary order 💥Energy Flux💥 Friday, 9th April 2021
Love it or loathe it, bitcoin is here to stay. The power-hungry digital currency is going from strength to strength, soaring to a series of all-time highs since the New Year and winning a string of high-profile corporate backers along the way. All this has cemented its position as the world’s leading cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.
There are few topics in modern finance as divisive as bitcoin, and its intense energy consumption is a major bone of contention. Every time the price rallies, the debate becomes as heated as the ASIC mining rigs endlessly crunching numbers in far flung corners of the world to keep the bitcoin network running 24/7.
Bitcoin’s electricity consumption will only increase with adoption. A requirement for ever-greater computing power is baked into the system: every four years or so the ‘reward’ for mining bitcoins halves, meaning twice the hashing power is needed to ‘mint’ each new coin.
At the current trajectory, bitcoin’s spiralling energy requirement prom…