As bitcoin volatility continues, many are now warning about another unintended consequence of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. Whether you like him or hate him, Bill Gates sounded alarm on bitcoin’s energy consumption
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Gates said: “Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind.” Gates called himself a “bitcoin skeptic,” and adding that “it’s not a great climate thing.”
In support of Gates’ point, Alex de Vries, a data scientist at the Dutch Central Bank, estimates that each bitcoin transaction requires an average of 300 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2)–equivalent to the carbon footprint produced by roughly 750,000 Visa swipes.
So, what are the facts? According to Digiconomist, “A single bitcoin transaction uses roughly 707.6 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy–equivalent to the power consumed by an average U.S. household over 24 days.”
Gates is not alone. Now, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is to crack down on environmentally wasteful cryptocurrencies after learning that a single bitcoin transaction uses the same amount of energy as a typical U.S. household consumed in one month.
Senator Warren further added that cryptocurrencies posses many dangers to the environment.
The senator referred to the volatile nature of crypto, among other factors, and said it is not a good investment.
In a June 9, 2021, Senate Banking Subcommittee hearing: “Building A Stronger Financial System: Opportunities of a Central Bank Digital Currency,” Senator Warren said:
“Bitcoin requires so much computing activity that it eats up more energy than entire countries. One of the easiest and least disruptive things we can do to fight the #ClimateCrisis is to crack down on environmentally wasteful cryptocurrencies.”
“Bitcoin consumes more energy than entire countries. And it is projected to consume as much energy as all the data centers in the whole world this year. One Bitcoin transaction, a single purchase, sale, or transfer uses the same amount of electricity as the typical US household uses in more than a month.“
Below is a 7-minute video clip about what she said during the hearing.
Bitcoin requires so much computing activity that it eats up more energy than entire countries. One of the easiest and least disruptive things we can do to fight the #ClimateCrisis is to crack down on environmentally wasteful cryptocurrencies. pic.twitter.com/derGr1bjuq
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 9, 2021