Bitcoin (BTC) surge renews worries about its massive carbon footprint


Cryptocurrency mining rigs at a crypto mining farm in Romania.

Akos Stiller | Bloomberg via Getty Images

LONDON — Bitcoin’s price isn’t the only thing surging lately — the amount of electricity it consumes is also on the rise.

The cryptocurrency has for years alarmed experts due to the sheer level of energy required by so-called miners, which release new coins into circulation.

Bitcoin has a carbon footprint comparable to that of New Zealand, producing 36.95 megatons of CO2 annually, according to Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, an online tool created by data scientist Alex de Vries. It consumes as much power as Chile — around 77.78 TWh — according to Digonomist’s…


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