Bitcoin trading uses so much power that could push global temperatures up [businessinsider]

The cryptocurrency bitcoin has been touted by its proponents as a way to help solve our most pressing problems, from homelessnessand human trafficking to cancer and the global financial crisis.

Bitcoin’s ability to reduce fraud and security risk has made it one of the most transparent digital currencies on the market. Many see this as a critical next step to holding governments accountable for carbon emissions, and even developing a market for reducing the world’s carbon footprint.

But the currency also has a dark side. A new study from the University of Hawaii finds that if bitcoin becomes more widely adopted, the huge amounts of electricity used to trade the cryptocurrency could push global temperatures above 2 degrees Celsius by 2033.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a 2-degree rise in global temperatures could reduce water availability in some areas by up to 30%, make arctic species like the polar bear and caribou vulnerable to extinction, and subject another 10 million people to coastal flooding.

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