Bill Gates raise concerns about impact of Bitcoin on climate change, proposes alternative

Bill Gates

Microsoft Corporation Founder Bill Gates is concerned about Bitcoin’s impact on climate change because it uses more electricity than any other transactional method.

“Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind,” Gates told CNBC’s Andrew Sorkin in a live-streamed Clubhouse session.

Researchers at Cambridge University have found that by consuming over 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year, Bitcoin electricity consumption is more than the whole of Argentina.

In fact, some critics have argued that when an electric car company like Tesla Inc invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, it unwittingly may have undermined its environmental image.
Bill Gates also told CNBC that there was a more efficient way of doing digital currency that wouldn’t require such high usage of electricity.

“There are other ways of doing digital currency that our foundation is involved with which are done in local currency,” he said.

“The transactions are not secret, they’re reversible. You can’t use it for ransom or things like that, and yet the transaction fees are so low that it’s empowering the poorest,” he said.

That comment by Bill Gates is being seen as an attempt to run down Bitcoin in favor of what his foundation is developing.

While the energy requirements to mine and produce Bitcoin are still considerably high, cryptocurrency analytics firm Arcane Research finds that Bitcoin contributes to only 2.3% of digital tech emissions.

Image: World Economic Forum via Wikicommons


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