BENITEZ | The Real Cost of Bitcoin

Bitcoin mining consumed nearly one percent of the United States’ electricity last year. Globally, Bitcoin’s estimated yearly power usage is greater than that of Ireland, or 30 times more than that of Tesla vehicles. Considering this, one wonders whether the societal benefits of the world’s foremost cryptocurrency offsets its significant energy consumption, which expedites greater, existential risks like irreversible climate change. Does Bitcoin justify its power bill? First, while Bitcoin is often described as an emerging currency, its illiquidity — you can’t just buy groceries with it — makes it as an asset best-likened to gold.