- To be profitable, Bitcoin miners need to operate in areas where the price of electricity is low, because the practice uses a lot of energy. That often means mining in areas with some of the dirtiest energy. Research from the University of Cambridge shows that about one-third of global Bitcoin production occurred in Xinjiang, China.
- While Xinjiang is developing renewable wind turbine-powered energy, the majority of electricity in the region is generated from coal. That’s part of the reason why Bitcoin mining has a growing environmental impact. Researchers have also found that Bitcoin mining is more energy-intensive than mining both gold and platinum.
- As the price of Bitcoin skyrockets, so do the incentives to mine it. Bitcoin is up more than 37 percent in 2021 alone, and has more than doubled since December 2020.
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