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Bitcoin works without central authorities or banks and uses a peer-to-peer technology. The management of transactions and the issuing of bitcoin is collectively carried out by the network also called the blockchain. Although many other cryptocurrencies have appeared, Bitcoin is the first decentralized cryptocurrency.
As with any new invention, there can be mistakes and improvements, but the community and a team of dedicated developers are pushing to overcome any obstacle. Bitcoin is also the most heavily traded cryptocurrency and one of the main entry points for all other cryptocurrencies.
The Bitcoin Price is as unstable as ever and it can go up or down 10-20% on just a single day.
Bitcoin is a SHA-256 POW Coin with a total of 21,000,000 coins.
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What Makes Bitcoin Unique?
Bitcoin’s most unique advantage comes from the fact that it was the very first cryptocurrency to appear on the market.
It has managed to create a global community and give birth to an entirely new industry of millions of enthusiasts who create, invest in, trade and use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in their everyday lives. The emergence of the first cryptocurrency has created a conceptual and technological basis that subsequently inspired the development of thousands of competing projects.
The entire cryptocurrency market — now worth more than $2 trillion — is based on the idea realized by Bitcoin: money that can be sent and received by anyone, anywhere in the world without reliance on trusted intermediaries, such as banks and financial services companies.
Thanks to its pioneering nature, BTC (Bitcoin Price) remains at the top of this energetic market after over a decade of existence. Even after Bitcoin has lost its undisputed dominance, it remains the largest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization that surpassed the $1 trillion mark in 2021, after Bitcoin price hit an all-time high of $64,863.10 on April 14, 2021. This is owing in large part to growing institutional interest in Bitcoin, and the ubiquitousness of platforms that provide use-cases for BTC: wallets, exchanges, payment services, online games and more.
Bitcoin Energy Consumption
Over the past few decades, consumers have become more curious about their energy consumption and personal effects on climate change. When news stories started swirling regarding the possible negative effects of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, many became concerned about Bitcoin and criticized this energy usage. A report found that each Bitcoin transaction takes 1,173 KW hours of electricity, which can “power the typical American home for six weeks.” Another report calculates that the energy required by Bitcoin annually is more than the annual hourly energy usage of Finland, a country with a population of 5.5 million.
The news has produced commentary from tech entrepreneurs to environmental activists to political leaders alike. In May 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk even stated that Tesla would no longer accept the cryptocurrency as payment, due to his concern regarding its environmental footprint. Though many of these individuals have condemned this issue and move on, some have prompted solutions: how do we make Bitcoin more energy efficient? Others have simply taken the defensive position, stating that the Bitcoin energy problem may be exaggerated.
At present, miners are heavily reliant on renewable energy sources, with estimates suggesting that Bitcoin’s use of renewable energy may span anywhere from 40-75%. However, to this point, critics claim that increasing Bitcoin’s renewable energy usage will take away from solar sources powering other sectors and industries like hospitals, factories or homes. The Bitcoin mining community also attests that the expansion of mining can help lead to the construction of new solar and wind farms in the future.
Furthermore, some who defend Bitcoin argue that the gold and banking sector — individually — consume twice the amount of energy as Bitcoin, making the criticism of Bitcoin’s energy consumption a nonstarter. Moreover, the energy consumption of Bitcoin can easily be tracked and traced, which the same cannot be said of the other two sectors. Those who defend Bitcoin also note that the complex validation process creates a more secure transaction system, which justifies the energy usage.
Another point that Bitcoin proponents make is that the energy usage required by Bitcoin is all-inclusive such that it encompasess the process of creating, securing, using and transporting Bitcoin. Whereas with other financial sectors, this is not the case. For example, when calculating the carbon footprint of a payment processing system like Visa, they fail to calculate the energy required to print money or power ATMs, or smartphones, bank branches, security vehicles, among other components in the payment processing and banking supply chain.
What exactly are governments and nonprofits doing to reduce Bitcoin energy consumption? Earlier this year in the U.S., a congressional hearing was held on the topic where politicians and tech figures discussed the future of crypto mining in the U.S, specifically highlighting their concerns regarding fossil fuel consumption. Leaders also discussed the current debate surrounding the coal-to-crypto trend, particularly regarding the number of coal plants in New York and Pennsylvania that are in the process of being repurposed into mining farms.
Aside from congressional hearings, there are private sector crypto initiatives dedicated to solving environmental issues such as the Crypto Climate Accord and Bitcoin Mining Council. In fact, the Crypto Climate Accord proposes a plan to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, And, due to the innovative potential of Bitcoin, it is reasonable to believe that such grand plans may be achieved.