Mining units at the Cormint Data Systems Bitcoin mining facility while under construction in Fort Stockton, Texas, U.S., on Friday, April 29, 2022. | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bitcoin’s value has nosedived enough to curb the cryptocurrency’s enormous energy use — and associated greenhouse gas emissions — but only if prices stay low. The price of a single Bitcoin plummeted below $24,000 today, about half of what it was worth in March. While it’s been steadily losing value for months, the sudden tumble in value over the past 24 hours brings the price below a key threshold when it comes to Bitcoin’s impact on the environment.
Since Bitcoin’s price peaked at around $69,000 in November, the network’s annual electricity consumption has been estimated to be between roughly 180 and 200 terawatt-hours (TWh). That’s about the same amount of electricity used by all the data centers in the world every year.