What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is two things: a digital money and a computer network. You can send Bitcoin (the digital money) directly to other people using the Bitcoin network (the computer network).
Bitcoin is a radically new way to store and transact value. Unlike normal financial networks, the Bitcoin network is able to operate without central authorities or trusted administrators. That makes Bitcoin the first ever open and borderless money.
Bitcoin is digital money that gives you complete ownership over your wealth. For the first time in human history everyone can own an asset that is truly scarce, doesn't require permission to be used, and can't be confiscated when stored properly.
Bitcoin can be sent anywhere in the world, quickly and cheaply. It has no need for a 3rd party transmitter, like a bank.
Bitcoin allows anyone to store their wealth safely and securely without worrying about the government stealing it or inflating away its value through money printing.
Governments everywhere can print more paper money, but no one can print more Bitcoin.
You can easily self-custody your Bitcoin to take full control of it, giving you full access to the power of Bitcoin. If you can download an app, you can self-custody Bitcoin and store your wealth without relying on anyone else.
Bitcoin is better money.
What is Bitcoin mining?
Bitcoin mining is a digital process that allows Bitcoin miners to add new Bitcoin transactions to the Bitcoin network.
In traditional financial networks, centralized authorities like businesses, banks or governments have full control over what transactions can be processed. This results in censorship or complete deplatforming of certain individuals.
In countries such as Lebanon, this centralized control has resulted in the government stealing the money of their citizens through currency devaluation. Citizens in Lebanon recently lost 90% of their savings overnight when the central authority decided to devalue their currency.
With Bitcoin, there is no central authority that can steal your savings through inflation or limit which transactions can be processed.
Instead, there are millions of Bitcoin miners (specialized computers) all over the world that compete to process the next block of transactions. You can think of this process like a lottery. Whichever miner guesses the right number adds the next block of transactions to the Bitcoin network.
This is becoming increasingly important with the advent of CBDCs or Central Bank Digital Currencies which give governments complete control over your money.
Do Bitcoin miners emit pollutants?
No, Bitcoin miners do not emit any pollutants. Just like your computer, phone, or electric car has zero emissions, Bitcoin miners (specialized computers) also have zero emissions.
Is Bitcoin mining bad for the environment?
You've probably read an article about Bitcoin mining being bad for the environment, but this is far from the truth.
Bitcoin itself is not inherently bad for the environment, but it is highly dependent on the energy source available to Bitcoin miners, just like the rest of our energy consumption.
When compared to other global industries, Bitcoin is the most renewable industry in the world, with 58.8% of the mining energy mix coming from renewable sources.
In addition, Bitcoin mining incentivizes renewable energy production and emissions reduction. For example, redirecting flared natural gas from oil drilling operations to power Bitcoin mining servers instead of projecting it into the atmosphere.
Right now, the biggest limiting factor to new renewable energy production is the ability to sell that energy to consumers. If your source of renewable energy is far away from people that need it, transmitting that energy can be expensive and/or impossible.
Bitcoin miners are unique because they can plug in anywhere. This allows Bitcoin mining to help fund new renewable energy production by purchasing this renewable energy and using it right on site without the need to transmit that energy.
How much energy does Bitcoin mining use?
Bitcoin uses about 275 TWh of energy per year, which is less energy than Americans use for clothes dryers each year. This energy is used to secure the network and ensure your Bitcoin can't be taken from you.
It's amazing that even with such little energy use, Bitcoin is the most secure computing network in the world while helping incentivize new renewable energy projects.
For less energy than Americans use for Christmas lights each year, the entire world has access to a new financial network that doesn't have the problems of our existing, centralized financial system.
Bitcoin is worth the watts!
Does Bitcoin use renewable energy?
Yes! Bitcoin uses a larger renewable energy mix than any country on Earth. Global Bitcoin miners use 58.8% renewable energy and growing. No other industry or country uses or incentivizes more renewable energy than Bitcoin.
How does Bitcoin mining impact energy grids?
Bitcoin mining is being used to help load balance the energy grid in the state of Texas in the USA.
During off-peak times, Bitcoin miners buy energy from power companies to allow the power companies to sustainably increase the amount of power they can produce.
Then, during an emergency like a winter storm, the Bitcoin miners turn off their specialized computers and free up that extra electricity for consumers.
Without Bitcoin miners, the energy companies don't have anyone to sell that extra power to during non-peak times, resulting in an electric grid that is not large enough to handle emergencies.
With Bitcoin, the energy grid can actually be strengthened.
How much energy does a Bitcoin transaction use?
Just like sending a text message from your phone uses a tiny amount of energy, sending a Bitcoin transaction also uses a tiny amount of energy.
Articles which claim Bitcoin transactions use a huge amount of energy are factually incorrect and completely misunderstand how Bitcoin works.
Where can I learn more about Bitcoin?
To learn more about Bitcoin and the ways it is already improving the world, including the energy grid and the environment, check out bitcoin.rocks!