Bitcoin Mining Energy Usage: The Good, the Bad and the Future

Concerns over bitcoin mining’s energy usage continue to raise alarm bells globally. Within the last year a combination of factors, including better hardware, more miners, and larger mining farms, have pushed Bitcoin’s electricity consumption to new heights. Now, Bitcoin enthusiasts from around the globe seek a more sustainable solution to the current power usage woes.

What Is Mining?

Bitcoin functions through a process known as a consensus mechanism. To put it simply, thousands of computers retain the Bitcoin blockchain in its entirety in duplicate. Each of these PCs, also known as nodes, compete to solve the proof of work algorithm. The one that completes the equation first adds the next block to the blockchain. The node who adds the next block receives a BTC reward for their efforts. Currently, this reward is 12.5 BTC.

As Bitcoin gains popularity, the number of miners on its blockchain increases. A recent report places the number of active miners just north of 300,000. You can expect this number to increase as Bitcoin…

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