Bitcoin mining has been under a microscope lately. We talked to a crypto expert to understand why blockchain is getting a bad rap.
If you’ve even casually followed Bitcoin news lately, you may have seen headlines such as these:
“Bill Gates Sounds Alarm On Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption”
“Bitcoin’s wild ride renews worries about its massive carbon footprint“
“Why does Bitcoin need more energy than whole countries?”
These captions are meant to drive clicks and perhaps even plant a seed of doubt in the public’s mind about trending cryptocurrencies. But is crypto trading the energy vampire that the media has made it out to be?
We spoke with podcast producer and blockchain expert Matthew Diemer, a longtime player in the crypto industry, to get a more balanced view of this issue. Diemer manages The Decrypt Daily podcast, which discusses all aspects of crypto news and information.
Popular digital currencies
Before we dive into the conversation, let’s start with a quick rewind on some basic cryptocurrency facts. Currently, there are dozens of virtual currencies, also known as tokens, available to purchase and trade. However, the most well-known currency by far is Bitcoin, having been around now for over a decade.
Other rising stars in the crypto space include Ethereum, dogecoin, and Litecoin. And recently, a wave of interest in NFTs is fueling public demand (however, NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens,” are a type of virtual product that exists primarily within the Ethereum blockchain.)
To understand how energy use and blockchain (i.e., the technology that allows cryptocurrencies to exist) are intertwined, one has to dig a little deeper into the processes of creating and trading cryptocurrencies.