Storms and weather changes around the world have highlighted concerns on how climate change is affecting our planet’s environment. Scientists, environmentalists, governments and even school children are working to raise awareness of these problems.
2018 in Poland, the Climate Change Conference was held that further emphasised the difficulties we are all facing. A young Swedish girl Greta Thunberg, initiated school strikes throughout Europe to further substantiate the problems climate change is creating.
So whether you accept or are on the fence regarding climate change you may be asking, how is this of interest to forex traders? Climate Change activists are also concerned about the impact cryptocurrency trading is having on the environment. Environmentalists believe the use of electricity that is generated when mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are causing environmental problems.
A Development That’s Not Sustainable?
Environmentalists believe the upsurge in demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and the subsequent electric usage will have unprecedented consequences for the planet.
No-one anticipated the success cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and others would experience. As a consequence of this popularity, the huge amount of electricity and power needed for the mining and production of them increased exponentially.
The process behind the concerns
Bitcoin is made through a process called mining, and it is said that the process requires more power than 19 countries combined. Most cryptocurrencies are produced in countries where the price for power is low and mostly based on fossil fuels. Together with polluted air and water, this creates emission of greenhouse gasses that is driving the climate change the world is experiencing.
With that said, Bitcoin is not the only industry proving not to be as good for the environment as we would like. From car emissions to the beef industry there are plenty of examples of how our production is affecting the environment. Overpopulation, massive consumption and high production demands are all impacting climate change.
Cryptocurrency – The Beginning And Now
Bitcoins are distributed to computers that confirm transactions with an algorithm that gets increasingly more complex over time. In the early days of the digital currency, you could buy Bitcoins for 2 dollars, and only a few computers were in use.
Today, Bitcoin has a global market value of $7.4 billion and this blockchain technology requires tens of thousands of computers to produce these, and the demand is growing. Every Bitcoin transaction requires almost 300 kilowatts of electricity, which according to some experts would boil around 36,000 kettles of water.
The power consumption is said to be increasing by 450-gigawatt hours each day. If Bitcoin continues like this, it is estimated that it will require more power than the US before 2019 is over.
How Cryptocurrencies Can Help Us Make Smarter Choices
The blockchain technology behind the cryptocurrencies might actually help us to make smarter choices for the planet. This is because technology makes it possible for the consumers to see the exact carbon impact of each product we choose to buy.
This technology can facilitate the measurement and tracking of emissions. So, for example, when using Bitcoin as a method of payment, you could choose to only buy the products and services with the lowest impact on the environment.
Before decisions are made on all the highly critical, explosive comments of cryptocurrency production and usage, it might be useful to consider the sources of such exposé, and what is happening elsewhere in the tech world. For example, consider Google, who disclosed an internal estimate that their operations produced and released 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2010.
There is no one technology, production or consumer product that is guilt free, that has not in some part contributed to climate change.
What is needed now is for the media, experts and the world’s population to spend less time pointing fingers and more time figuring out the way forward. Guidelines, regulations, support and open conversation on the subject are necessary to prevent climate change destroying the environment.