After years of obscurity when it was only really known inside computer circles, Bitcoin is now world-famous. Nearly everyone knows about the cryptocurrency that was supposedly created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Even so, a large proportion of the world’s population is still to be convinced about it. Aside from Bitcoin’s struggles to go mainstream, it also needs to convince the world that it is sustainable. While there are many advantages to the introduction of this cryptocurrency, there are also some detrimental effects on the environment.
Mining Has a Worrying Effect on the Environment
One of the main concerns to do with Bitcoin is the amount of energy required to mine it. Recent studies have brought to light some questions as to whether cryptocurrency is sustainable as a long term alternative to existing currencies. As nations across the world are in the process of reducing their impact on the planet, it doesn’t seem to be the right time to introduce a currency that is going to take a vast amount of power to run. Indeed, if Bitcoin doesn’t find a renewable energy source to run from, it could be reined in by governments before it has even begun.
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It was recently claimed by the BBC that Bitcoin “uses more electricity than Argentina.” When people mine cryptocurrency, they need to use high-powered computers that are designed to solve complex algorithms. At any given mine, there will be a multitude of computers working on solving the problems that result in the release of Bitcoin. However, some other articles have claimed that the overall energy consumption is hard to measure and that the doom and gloom reports could be way off.
It has been noted that the statistics put forth by sites like the BBC have skewed them for dramatic effect. Bitcoin may use more electricity on a whole than Argentina, but it doesn’t account for the main energy consumption of most nations in the world. In actuality, countries use more energy from oil, gas, and coal than they do from electricity. With that in mind, even though it sounds like Bitcoin uses a great deal of energy, it may not be quite as bad as some publications are trying to make out.
Bitcoin Could Become a Global Currency
The main thing that works in Bitcoin’s favour that a lot of people may not realize, is the fact that most money that already exists is virtual. Indeed, only eight per cent of the world’s wealth exists as physical cash and coins. The rest of it is all zeros and ones, stored in computer hard drives in electronic banks. This shows that the planet is already prepared to go fully digital when it comes to money.
All the signs point to cash being on the way out. There are many reasons why handing over pieces of paper in exchange for items is not something that will continue in the future. Hygiene, safety, and convenience are all issues when it comes to cash and coins, and all of these things can be rectified with virtual currencies. The fact that people can carry cards and phones that can be used to perform transactions renders cash useless. However, there is still a way to go until every merchant in the world can accept these methods of payment.
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When the world does go fully cashless, it will also give rise to arguments as to whether countries actually need their own individual currencies. The fact that most European countries already gave up their past currencies in exchange for the Euro shows that this uniformity is a real possibility. If the world decided to go down this route, it would need one currency to represent every country. Bitcoin is well-placed to fulfil this purpose if that ever comes to pass.
The borderless world of the internet could be the first place to see a global currency. When people perform transactions online, many of these take place internationally. A consumer who has to complete payments using a different currency to the seller may be at the mercy of fluctuating exchange rates. But if both people were using the same cryptocurrency, this wouldn’t be an issue.
Online Payment Systems Pave The Way For Bitcoin
People have already grown accustomed to using online payment systems as an alternative to traditional options. Businesses that exist online have found that offering a wide variety of choice is a great way to attract customers. According to Vegasslotsonline, in the online casino industry, credit cards and debit cards are still the most commonly used forms of payment. Naturally, offering a wider set of payment methods allows for more customers to use your services. But people are growing fonder of other options such as PayPal, Neteller, and Entropay. It seems that the sites that can provide the most varied options are the ones that attract the most players.
Other areas of the gaming industry are using these systems as well. Console players have long been able to use PayPal in the online game stores. Mobile gamers are also accustomed to having to download apps with digital systems. All of these new platforms have helped build people’s trust in online payments, and have allowed people to get used to the idea of transferring funds in this way. All of this has paved the way for Bitcoin to be accepted by the general public.
It certainly seems as though the benefits of Bitcoin outweigh the negatives. If it’s true about the environmental impact of the cryptocurrency, there is no doubt that it will need to find sustainable ways of using energy to move forward. But if this comes to fruition, Bitcoin could easily become the world currency.