Bitcoin, the first ever cryptocurrency, was established in 2009 has grown in value astronomically according to Forbes. Forbes estimates that if you invested $1,000 in Bitcoin when it first launched, it would be worth $41.5 million today. As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have grown, environmentalists like CWU Biology Professor Dr. Clay Arango have voiced concerns about the impact they could have on the environment.“It’s a lot of energy,” Arango said. “Of course, if that energy is coming from carbon intensive sources like coal, natural gas or petroleum, then you get all those associations with air emissions.” According to CWU Economics Professor and Sustainability Economist Toni Sipic, cryptocurrency is a non-centralized currency, which means that it is not connected to any one source or entity like national currencies are. Ever since Bitcoin’s creation and its spike in value in 2018, more cryptocurrencies have been showing up. Sipic said the majority of cryptocurrencies are produced through a process called mining, which is when a computer solves a complex algorithm. Sipic said this process is called “proof of work.”
“So those [crypto] miners back up that value by the capital and the energy that they put in towards making coins,” Sipic said.
Full opinion : Cryptocurrency and how it impacts the environment.