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Elizabeth Warren has officially blown the whistle on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, raising alarms on their environmental impact. Though cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin (especially) have seen massive upticks in price, as investors continue to buy into the trend, the Earth may suffer.
Among other issues with Bitcoin – such as the cryptocurrency taking advantage of smaller investors – Elizabeth Warren made some particularly pointed remarks. During a discussion with Andy Serwer, Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief, Warren explained that the planet is continuing to warm and cryptocurrencies are becoming a big contributor.
She said that “with Bitcoin, and with the other cryptocurrencies, I think there’s a real issue about the environmental impact as well, this whole notion of how much energy is consumed just to keep the currency tracking going.” Bitcoin is very problematic because “miners” leave an increasingly large carbon footprint. By verifying and recording transactions – mining – these individuals are using a lot of processing power. That power must come from somewhere, and renewable energy sources aren’t usually it.
Entire power grids have gone down because of the sheer amount of power required to mine Bitcoin. This is more than playing video games or charging a phone – this is a non-stop process of intense processing, which affects the planet tremendously.
“You don’t consume that kind of energy, in order to have money on deposit at a bank or a mutual fund,” Warren explained. “In that sense, bitcoin is very different, and in a 21st century, we’re becoming a lot more sensitive to the worldwide impacts of the choices we make.”
Recently, there has been a movement to track the environmental impact of Bitcoin so countries can begin to pass legislation that controls how much power it consumes and the harm it can do to the planet. It was discovered during a study from the University of Cambridge that the electricity it takes to mine Bitcoin each year is greater than the annual electricity consumption of countries like Ukraine, Sweden, and Argentina.
This isn’t the first time a red flag has been waved regarding cryptocurrencies. Despite the hype surrounding Dogecoin and other altcoins, big names have been verbal about their dangers.
Bill Gates is one person who has concerns. “Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind,” Gates said back in February. “So it’s not a great climate thing.”
On the other hand, Elon Musk believes that cryptos are the currency of the future. He is even sending a Dogecoin-funded Satellite called Doge-1 to outer space next year!