Alarming energy use in digital coin mining

Cryptocurrency is a decentralised virtual currency that is deemed to be more efficient than traditional currencies because it is regulated by a community of users. The top 100 cryptocurrencies have a current market value of about US$200 billion according to CoinMarketCap, a site that provides up-to-the-minute updates for digital market data. Bitcoin would account for more than half of that amount.

Bitcoin mining, the backbone of the network, refers to the production of bitcoin or digital coin through solving complex algorithms with specialised computers. “Miners” process and confirm bitcoin transactions to be entered into the digital currency’s shared public ledger, known as a blockchain. Miners also provide security to the network. New coins are awarded to miners who complete the calculations first along with transaction fees for their services.

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