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May 1, 2022

Why a bipartisan embrace of crypto might never touch Bitcoin

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, energy

Crypto’s biggest skeptics see plenty of reasons to criticize the industry, but generally at the heart of most complaints is a belief that crypto is contributing very little to society while burning massive amounts of energy.

While crypto’s believers could squabble over the former point until they’re blue in the face, the latter is a little harder to deny. Bitcoin uses an estimated 204.50 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year at current rates according to the oft-cited tracker built by Digiconomist, this number is equal to the power consumption of Thailand. Meanwhile Ethereum’s energy footprint is half the size but still comparable to the power consumption of Kazakhstan. In 2018 the United States reported its total consumption of electricity as 4,222.5 TWh.

For some legislators, those numbers are hard to swallow. This week, the New York State Assembly passed a bill that had team crypto up in arms. The bill blocks the formation of crypto mining firms in the state that rely on non-renewable power. It notably doesn’t apply to existing facilities. A corresponding bill is currently making its way through the Democrat-controlled state senate. everyone, and welcome back to Chain Reaction.

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