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According to Business Insider, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are having a negative impact on the environment.

The popular digital currency is reported putting a huge strain on resources due to the incredible amount of electricity required to support it. Currently, the total cryptocurrency market is worth an estimated $400 billion, which experts say could damage the planet’s resources if prices continue to rise.

For bitcoin to work, the currency is “mined” using computers that complete calculations to generate more money. As the currency grows, the calculations required for bitcoin mining machines become more complex, increasing the amount of power required to solve them.

The amount of energy used annually by computers mining Bitcoin worldwide has already exceeded that of 159 countries. The process of mining a single bitcoin requires the same amount of electricity to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day, and that amount increases daily. Currently, China hosts the world’s largest bitcoin mines, with the majority of its power coming from non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels.

If the bitcoin market continues to grow at a steady rate, the electricity demanded by the currency will soon outstrip power sources that are currently available. By February 2020, Bitcoin will use as much electricity as the entire world does today.

For further reading, head on over to the Business Insider site.

In similar news, check out how the Winklevoss twins became bitcoin billionaires.

  • Main and Featured Image: Siegfried Layda/Getty Images

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