“With the ever-growing devastation created by hazardous climate conditions, humanity is coming to terms with the fact that climate change is as real and personal as it can be,” said researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “Clearly, any further development of cryptocurrencies should critically aim to reduce electricity demand, if the potentially devastating consequences of 2°C of global warming are to be avoided.”
Bitcoin is dependent on computers that time-stamp transactions into an ongoing chain to prevent duplicate spending of coins. Computers in the network perform calculations continuously, competing for the chance, once every ten minutes, to be appointed to create the next block of transactions in the chain. The user of the computer that wins is awarded 12.5 new coins—a process known as “mining” Bitcoin. But all the time, even the users that don’t win are expending computing power.