Bitcoin’s insatiable appetite for energy is driving up pollution and costs for Americans, report finds

A row of Bitcoin mining machines at the Whinstone US Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, on October 9th, 2021. | Image: MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty Images

Bitcoin mines in the US have had a tremendous impact on power grids, a New York Times investigation reveals. The mines — which are giant data farms — use vastly more electricity than the communities surrounding them, driving up pollution from coal and gas power plants. The crypto mines also make electricity bills more expensive for their neighbors, even as the companies profit off incentives that grid operators offer to prevent blackouts during an energy crunch.

This is the most comprehensive analysis yet of Bitcoin’s impact on the environment and energy system in the US. And it comes as Democratic lawmakers press federal agencies to require crypto companies to divulge information about their operations. The Times has startling numbers…

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