The Environmental Impact of Crypto Mining: How Big Is It?

Environmental issues are at the forefront of the news cycle. First blush logic might dictate that the management and recovery of virtual money within the virtual space would take little, if any, energy. Blinkety–bop; the digital transfers and engagements happen in the blink of an eye…right? Hang on. Not so fast. Article published courtesy of, and

Believe it or not, cryptocurrency is quickly raising alarm bells for environmentalists.
The main area of concern is the use of fossil fuels to provide large scale energy for crypto mining. This use is exacerbated by the blockchain: long, clunky blocks of code that take hours to download, authenticate, and upload again…. and so on.

But in what way does this lead to heavy power consumption?

Bernard Lietaer is the author of The Future of Money and an international expert in the design and implementation of currency systems. He has a great deal to say about the cost of power–literally–in crypto mining. “A cryptocurrency’s mining process is power-hungry, requiring heavy calculations on computers to verify transactions” points out Lietaer. While some estimations vary, “researchers at Cambridge estimate that it consumes about 121 kWh per year” writes Lietaer. And by these numbers, he points out, even when blockchain trades run at a low point, mining takes tremendous amounts of electricity.  “In the event of a currency slump, it is unlikely to fall below 36 terawatt hours (TWh) per year.” (Lietaer)

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