Cryptocurrency mining is a waste of energy – IMF's Lagarde
The amount of power wasted on producing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could soon be equivalent to the yearly energy needs of a large country like Argentina if current trends continue, according to IMF chief Christine Lagarde.
“The bitcoins mining, which is this accelerated and augmented use of computers to actually determine the value and incentive the functioning of the mechanism, is energy angry,” Lagarde said at the World Economic Forum in Davos in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday.
“And we figure that in 2018, if it continues, that system will actually consume as much electricity as Argentina.”
According to the Bloomberg’s data, cryptocurrency miners used more than 37 gigawatt-hours a day – equivalent to 30 1.2-gigawatt nuclear reactors running at full capacity.
Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index says cryptocurrency mining could power 4,124,115 US households, and the energy consumed can be compared to Iraq’s electricity consumption.
The cryptocurrency network is mostly fueled by coal-fired power plants in China because energy is cheap there, which results “in an extreme carbon footprint for each unique bitcoin transaction,” the website claims.
“In times of climate change and when we look at how much coal is being used in some Chinese provinces to actually mine bitcoin, it’s a big concern,” Lagarde said.
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