The Effects of Bitcoin Mining on the Environment and International Politics

The Effects of Bitcoin Mining on the Environment and International Politics

Author: Hank Roth; hankroth04@gmail.com

Advisor: N/A

New York City, New York, United States


Abstract

The Bitcoin industry has risen to prominence in the last few years. However, as its popularity grows so does its power consumption. This is due to the process known as “Bitcoin” mining which creates new Bitcoin but also takes a significant amount of energy. On top of that the energy needed to create a single Bitcoin increases with each new coin created meaning the power consumption, hardware, and carbon emission all increase with each successful cycle of mining. In recent years, mining has brought the Bitcoin industry into conflict with other countries and has resulted in regulation being put in place around the industry. As Bitcoin continues to grow, the climate continues to change and hostility between the industry and different countries understanding how to best handle the Bitcoin industry in relation to all these factors will be vital. Furthermore, the implications that come with ignoring the problem the Bitcoin industry poses could be disastrous for the environment, while certain valuable lessons around the realm of international politics such as how to best regulate cryptocurrencies and how to introduce government regulated cryptocurrencies may go unlearned.



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