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Elon Musk and Tesla just recently dropped Bitcoin, and instead – might move towards a more carbon neutral option, like Dogecoin, instead – here are the implications of this happening, Enjoy! Add me on Instagram: GPStephan
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The other night, Elon announced that Tesla would NO LONGER be accepting Bitcoin as payment due to environment concerns, and the market immediately sold off, posing some new problems: One, is Bitcoin actually as BAD for the environment as we think it is, and two: will this cause OTHER companies to follow suit, further driving down the demand?
In terms of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, technically…Elon Musk isn’t WRONG, and this has been a well-known effect of Bitcoin for quite some time….but, actually analyzing how much energy Bitcoin uses isn’t an easy answer.
On the surface, the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance claims that Bitcoin consumes around 110 Terawatt hours per year – which is over 0.5% of the global energy production, and roughly equivalent to the annual energy draw of small countries like Sweden.
One study conducted in 2019 found that 73% of Bitcoin mining was CARBON NEUTRAL, making Bitcoin mining more renewables-driven than almost every other large-scale industry in the world. Another study came to a different conclusion, saying that 39% of Bitcoin mining was driven by renewable energy…but, even if we assume the lower number is correct, that’s still more than TWICE THE AMOUNT of the US energy consumption grid.
The other interesting idea that this research found was that, unlike the current financial system which draws energy from where offices are physically located – Bitcoin can be mined from anywhere in the world, allowing it to take advantage of alternative energy sources, like hydro-power, which largely goes to waste in certain countries, because it can’t be easily transported through other regions.
In terms of the BIG PICTURE though, the Goal Carbon Project found that the world produced 34 BILLION Metric Tons of carbon emissions in 2020…which is 620 times MORE than what Bitcoin is estimated to generate.
But, the fact still remains…OBJECTIVELY, Bitcoin uses a lot of energy…and while it’s nearly impossible to quantify exactly how much…when you add everything up across the board, it appears as though it uses 20% MORE power than the ENTIRE BANKING SYSTEM….and, lets be real…that’s a lot.
To me, I’m not so concerned about Tesla NOT selling their cars with Bitcoin…personally, I just saw that as a bit of a gimmick, and even though it was a fun concept…I highly doubt THAT many people were using Bitcoin to buy a Tesla beyond a novelty. The bigger implication is Tesla publicly denouncing Bitcoin because of its energy consumption, which is a move that other companies will probably follow.
The way I see it, Tesla is very much an industry leader and what THEY do, others copy…so, if Tesla has a problem with bitcoin, most likely, others will, as well…and that’s where we could see this having a negative affect throughout the market.
The fact is, Bitcoin DOES use a significant amount of energy…but, more research needs to be done to determine where that energy is coming from, and compare it with other aspects of the banking system to come up with a true 1-to-1 comparison.
I say this not to DISMISS how detrimental Bitcoin can be, but instead, to come up with REAL numbers that we can actually worth with to create a more sustainable future. This is going to highlight potential issues of not only Bitcoin, but the entire cryptocurrency market, and serve for a huge push towards more sustainable energy…of which, Tesla has a vested interest in solar and battery technology.
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