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Fears of Bitcoin ‘Environmental Armageddon’ May Be Overblown

Jan. 17, 2018, 2:56 PM

There’s a growing debate over how much power will be sucked up by the world’s growing ranks of cryptocurrency miners.

Last week, Morgan Stanley analysts said Bitcoin “miners"—those who earn Bitcoin-denominated rewards for performing complex, energy-intensive computer calculations needed to confirm transactions in the virtual currency—could use as much as 140 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2018. That’s nearly 1 percent of global demand and enough to seize the limelight from electric cars as the explosive new source of power consumption.

On Jan. 16, Credit Suisse Group dumped cold water on the notion that Bitcoin would create “uncontrolled growth” in power ...