Bitcoin growth fuels debate on environmental impact - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Bitcoin growth fuels debate on environmental impact

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Bitcoin's growth is fueling speculation and debate about the environmental impact of the energy needed to power the virtual currency.
  
Bitcoin is the most popular digital money in the world, and it isn't tied to a bank or a government. The environmental concerns about bitcoin stem from the process of "mining" that is central to its existence.
  
Bitcoin "miners" use computers to make complex calculations that verify transactions in bitcoins. This process uses a tremendous amount of energy at computers and server farms all over the world, which has given rise to concerns about the amount of fossil-fuel dependent electricity used to power the computers. Some estimates say bitcoin's power use is more than that of a small country.
  
The value of one bitcoin was $16,500 in late December. It was about $1,000 in March.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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