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How coal is fuelling Bitcoin's meteoric rise

The global industry's power use already may equal 3 million US homes, topping the individual consumption of 159 countries


Bitcoin has a dirty secret. The cryptocurrency has wowed markets this year with breakneck gains as investors flocked to an asset that exists only in cyberspace. But the laborious creation of each digital bitcoin by private computer networks has real-world consequences in the form of massive energy use — including from fuels that cause the most pollution. Eight 100-meter-long metal warehouses in northern China are a case in point. Bitmain Technologies runs a server farm in Erdors, Inner Mongolia, with about 25,000 computers dedicated to solving the encrypted calculations ...

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First Published: Sat, December 16 2017. 23:15 IST