Does Bitcoin use fossil fuels?

Does Bitcoin use fossil fuels?

Tesla will stop accepting Bitcoin due to what Elon says is an increased use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining. But does the Bitcoin network really use fossil fuels?

The Bitcoin network is no different to anything else in society that requires energy to run.

That energy must be generated somehow and as of right now, the cheapest way to produce energy is to burn fossil fuels such as coal.

So yes, you could say that Bitcoin uses fossil fuels.

But you could also say that about every single product that requires energy to create or run.

Most notably whatever device you’re reading this particular blog on right now.

Why did Tesla stop accepting Bitcoin?

The whole reason this question is being asked, is because Tesla this week stopped accepting Bitcoin as payment for cars.

Whether you believe that in this bull market anybody is stupid enough to part with their highly appreciative Bitcoin for a highly depreciative car is a whole other story.

But it was a possibility and this was the statement written on Elon Musk’s Twitter account, taking that possibility away:

“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” being the key extract.

With climate science where it is today, any semi-intelligent human on the planet no doubt has an issue with carbon emissions from fossil fuel use.

It’s just whether energy consumed to run the Bitcoin network is really at the top of the list when it comes to reducing them.

Especially when we consider Tesla cars themselves literally run on the same electricity that the Bitcoin network runs on.


Is Bitcoin’s fossil fuel use really an issue?

Well, that depends on how you view the use of fossil fuels in general.

The real question then becomes how is the energy required to run the Bitcoin network produced and whether burning fossil fuels is the most efficient method?

There is one viewpoint which sees Bitcoin’s economic incentives from mining actually encouraging the use of more efficient, green energy production.

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey for example, last month shared a white paper on the topic which you can find here:

Ironically if you click that tweet, one of the top replies is from Elon Musk agreeing with that line of thinking.

Obviously there’s more at play here, with regulatory pressure no doubt being applied to Tesla behind the scenes.

What, you think Elon’s SNL appearance mentioning his autism was just him being vulnerable for the cameras?

Come on.

Elon obviously believes in Bitcoin’s future, but is certainly going to cover as many legal bases as he can when it comes to Tesla.

Best of probabilities to you.

Direct from the desk of Dane Williams.
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