Why Bitcoin’s pollution could grow after leaving China
China is cracking down on Bitcoin mining, and some experts fear that the cryptocurrency’s environmental footprint could become dirtier as a result.
Bitcoin is incredibly energy hungry. To create new coins, miners race to solve complex puzzles using specialized machines. As a result, Bitcoin is estimated to use as much electricity annually as the entire country of Poland. Until this year, a majority of that electricity came from a mix of coal and hydropower in China. Last week, China sounded the death knell for Bitcoin mining within its borders when it made all cryptocurrency transactions and mining illegal — although most mining operations fled earlier in the year when bans were announced in provinces where most had previously set up…