As China rapidly transforms into a green energy economy, this should in turn help the environmental credentials of Bitcoin. Photo credit - Pixabay
Bitcoin has been hitting the headlines around the world after a recent surge in value.
This is good news for Bitcoin investors, but the environmental impact of the digital currency, especially in China, is astonishing.
That's according to a recent study by PowerCompare, who looked at the amount of energy that 'mining' the currency uses.
Mining is a complicated digital process through which Bitcoin transactions are verified. It already uses a lot of processing power, with demands set to increase exponentially as the currency becomes more popular.
The study uncovered some astonishing facts about Bitcoin.
For example, if the digital currency were a country, it would have the 61st highest electricity requirements on the planet - meaning that it effectively uses more energy than countries including Hungary, Ireland and Morocco.
What's more, if current trends were to continue, then Bitcoin would use all of the electricity in the world by 2020.
Clearly the situation is not sustainable. The environmental burden of this power usage falls mainly upon China, where a majority of Bitcoin mining takes place.
As China rapidly transforms into a green energy economy, this should in turn help the environmental credentials of Bitcoin.
However, a mining process that requires less electricity is still urgently needed.