Bitcoin mining causing electricity blackouts
Bitcoin mining 'is using so much energy that it is causing electricity blackouts' amid fears it will consume more power than the world by 2020
- Experts say Bitcoin mining is consuming more power than used by 159 countries
- The hardware uses approximately 31 terrawatt hours of energy per year
- That compares with 23TWh in Ireland and 309TWh for the whole of the UK
- It is creating a 'colossal' carbon footprint as the value of one coin surges to more than £12,000 amid violent swings in the cryptocurrency market
The virtual mining of Bitcoins is using up so much energy that it is causing electricity blackouts in some countries, it has been revealed.
Experts say the high-tech activity is consuming a higher level of power than in 159 countries across the globe - amid fears it will use more than the world by 2020.
Bitcoin mining hardware uses approximately 31 terrawatt hours of energy per year - compared with 23 in Ireland and 309 for the whole of the UK.
It is creating a 'colossal' carbon footprint as the value of one coin surges to more than £12,000 amid violent swings in the cryptocurrency market.
Analytics firm Digiconomist estimates that every Bitcoin transaction uses up enough energy to power nine home in the US for one day.
The virtual currency is made up of lines of computer code which are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next.
Transactions can be made anonymously, making the currency popular with libertarians as well as tech enthusiasts, speculators - and criminals.
Tech-savvy users called 'miners' use their computers to make complex calculations in a bid to verify that a 'block' of Bitcoin transactions are genuine.
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