Bitcoin is ruining the planet

Business Insider | 12/6/2017 | Eric Holthaus, Grist
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The bitcoin network requires a tremendous amount of electricity.

As bitcoin becomes more popular, the math problems computers must solve to make more bitcoin become more difficult, which requires more energy.

Cryptocurrencies - Effort - Transition - Fuels - Time

Cryptocurrencies are slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels at a crucial time for humanity.

If you're like me, you've probably been ignoring the bitcoin phenomenon for years — because it seemed too complex, far-fetched, or maybe even too libertarian. But if you have any interest in a future where the world moves beyond fossil fuels, you and I should both start paying attention now.

Week - Value - Bitcoin - Barrier - Time

Last week, the value of a single bitcoin broke the $10,000 barrier for the first time. Over the weekend, the price nearly hit $12,000. At the beginning of this year, it was less than $1,000.

If you had bought $100 in bitcoin back in 2011, your investment would be worth nearly $4 million today. All over the internet there are stories of people who treated their friends to lunch a few years ago and, as a novelty, paid with bitcoin. Those same people are now realizing that if they'd just paid in cash and held onto their digital currency, they'd now have enough money to buy a house.

Sort - Rise - Course - Bitcoin - Investment

That sort of precipitous rise is stunning, of course, but bitcoin wasn't intended to be an investment instrument. Its creators envisioned it as a replacement for money itself — a decentralized, secure, anonymous method for transferring value between people.

But what they might not have accounted for is how much of an energy suck the computer network behind bitcoin could one day become.

Beginning - Climate - Footprint - Bitcoin - Development

What's more, this is just the beginning. Given its rapidly growing climate footprint, bitcoin is a malignant development, and it's getting worse.

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin provide a unique service: Financial transactions that don't require governments to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Business Insider
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