Electricity used to operate Bitcoin’s “mining” operations around the world now exceeds that used by the entire nation of Argentina.
Experts told the BBC that the energy consumed by the cryptocurrency’s operations increased sharply as its value soared to ever-higher record levels during February. The complex puzzles that run on a vast network of computers, required to keep Bitcoin secure and verify its transactions, consume an enormous amount of power. The operators of those “mining” efforts earn a small amount of bitcoins for the tasks, with some filling warehouses with computers that operate continuously to maximize profits.
Some suggest imposing a carbon tax on all cryptocurrencies to offset the greenhouse gas emissions that result from their operations.