No, Bitcoin is not a „dirty currency“

The Bitcoin course has no holding back. But even this price rally calls again unteachable doubters and skeptics who criticize Bitcoin because of its energy consumption. What is it about Bitcoin’s hunger for electricity?

Bitcoin goes up and goes up and goes up. But this is not a reason to celebrate for everyone

Many market observers, especially from a more (economic) conservative milieu, are uncomfortable with the cryptocurrency even after eleven years of its existence. For example, the FAZ headlined “ Bitcoin is harmful“And dug up FUD from 2017. Everyone knows the argument: Bitcoin consumes an enormous amount of energy. Comparable to the total annual electricity consumption of Argentina.

According to the superficial analysis, this makes Bitcoin “dirty currency No. 1”. Mark Schieritz, the economic policy correspondent of the time , even called for Bitcoin to be „switched off“. Presumably knowing that this is not possible at all.

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The best: there are no transaction costs or network fees

But the argument is more complex than that. Anyone who really wants to understand that Bitcoin can even make global trading in energy more efficient must first take a look at the Achilles‘ heel of electricity generation: transport. Transporting electricity over long distances is time-consuming and inefficient. The World Bank estimates that 8 percent of the electricity generated worldwide is lost in transport from A to B.

In addition, the electricity generated is difficult to store. As a rule, energy from power plants is therefore fed directly into the grid. Whether the supply of electricity is also opposed to a demand is a different story. Since electricity production is quite inflexible, there can be surpluses and deficiencies. Renewable energies make this problem even worse, as they depend to a greater extent on external conditions such as wind, rain or sun.

BTC takes excess power from the market

Bitcoin can remedy this. After all, BTC is a highly competitive buyer of cheap electricity. And electricity is especially cheap when there is a surplus. In plain language, this means that Bitcoin mines are located right next to electricity producers such as solar systems or hydropower plants and could then serve as a constant consumer of excess electricity. A look at China shows that this is actually common practice. Sichuan Province is considered the epicenter of Chinese hydropower. Thanks to state subsidies, enormous hydropower plants were built there within a very short time. However, the production capacity far exceeds the demand, which is why a large part of the energy generated is lost.

It is no coincidence that, according to current estimates, over 9 percent of the total Bitcoin hash rate comes from Sichuan. In rainy seasons, when the dams are full, this number increases even further.

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