Cryptocurrency may have no value, but it definitely has a price

Cryptocurrency may have no value, but it definitely has a price

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, have no intrinsic value. They exist only as numbers in a blockchain, and they’re worth whatever the wildly swinging market says they are worth at a given moment.

But even if crypto has no real-world value, it absolutely has a real-world cost. Because finding the magic numbers for each currency requires solving mathematical equations that are purposely difficult to execute. Completing those calculations requires more and more dedicated computing hardware over time—and more and more energy.

As a new report from the Energy Information Administration warns, “mining” for cryptocurrency now consumes up to 2.3% of electricity produced in the U.S. What’s more, that power includes some of the dirtiest electricity in the nation. It’s also directly affecting the cost of electricity for consumers while putting money in the pockets of the companies mining for “digital gold.”

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