Bitcoin’s energy use drops following price plunge


Bitcoin mining units in Fort Stockton, Texas, on Friday, April 29th, 2022. | Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After taking a nosedive in June, the price of Bitcoin has stayed so low that it’s forcing the blockchain’s massive electricity use to similarly dip. Over the past couple weeks, Bitcoin’s energy consumption has dropped by more than a third, according to estimates of annualized electricity use by digital currency economist Alex de Vries on his website digiconomist.net.

Bitcoin’s energy hunger, which has alarmed environmentalists and consumer advocates concerned about pollution and utility prices, comes from the process of mining new tokens. Bitcoin miners earn new tokens by validating transactions through an inherently energy-inefficient process, using specialized machines to solve complex puzzles. All that computing by all those machines…

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