Elon Musk has just announced that Tesla will no longer allow buyers to pay in bitcoin. Why is this relevant to a wildlife and environment blog?
Tesla is there to transition the world to sustainable transport, as a goal. of the roughly 4.1 trillion kwh of electricity used in the USA last year roughly 500 went on bitcoin (roughly 1 in 8) or 13%.
Given the fact that in parts of the USA the electricity has an incredibly high carbon footprint, this makes bitcoin incredibly pollutive.
Now it is certainly true that this varies from state to state.
California emits roughly 200g per kwh, where as Arizona emits more than 400g for the same amount of electricity.
However it is deniable that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are using a vast amount of power and therefore have a significant carbon footprint. As such, until the USA eradicates carbon from its power generation cryptocurrencies cannot be considered clean.